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Need to raise borrowing limit, welcome Rs 30-bn flood assistance: Kerala

BS Reporter/Chennai 07 Dec 18 | 03:29 PM

A view of the flood-affected areas in Kochi, Aug 19, 2018. Photo: PTI

As the Centre issued additional assistance of Rs 30.48 billion to flood-hit Kerala, the state government on Friday said it needed the power to raise its borrowing limits temporarily.    

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The state saw one of the worst flood disasters in a century during August, with 12 out of its 14 districts being hit by heavy rains, landslides and flooding.

According to a Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) report by the United Nations, the state would require around Rs 310 billion for recovery and reconstruction.

ALSO READ: Kerala floods: UN report says Rs 310 billion needed to rebuild state

Welcoming the additional assistance of Rs 30.48 billion from the Centre, Kerala Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac, on his social media page, said, "But more important is the demand for raising temporarily borrowings limit of state." 

"As per UN needs assessment Rs 300 billion is required for rebuilding. How can these resources be mobilised is the key question," he added.

ALSO READ: Kerala floods: Permission denied to ministers to go abroad for relief funds

The UN report has estimated that the requirement includes Rs 54.43 billion for housing, Rs 44.98 billion for agriculture, fisheries and livestock, and Rs 100.46 billion for transport, among other things. 

The natural disaster resulted in 341 landslides during the monsoon season and almost 1.4 million people were displaced. Drinking water supply to almost 20 per cent of the total population was affected and around 174,500 buildings were partially or fully destroyed.

ALSO READ: Citing Kerala floods, UNGA president urges faster action on climate change 

Almost 2.6 per cent of the state's internal revenue has been lost because of the floods, said the state government in October.  

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