Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala, is seen addressing a gathering of 200 Businessmen of Indians and other Nationals, seeking their partnership in reconstructing of the Flood hit State of Kerala in an event organised by Indian Business & Professional Group at Dusit Thani Hotel in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday night. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The visiting chief minister of the South Indian State of Kerala said there was no restriction on the flood-hit state receiving donations from charities and foundations in the UAE.

The government of India has not permitted the state to accept aid from foreign governments only, but there is no restriction on receiving donations from foreign charities and foundations, Pinarayi Vijayan said in an interview with Gulf News on Wednesday.

“This [donations from foreign charities and foundations] will be a big support in the reconstruction of the state.”

He said he had a very warm and friendly meeting on Wednesday with Shaikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Dhafra Region and Chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC).

Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, is inaugurating the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s public meeting at the Indian Social and Cultural Centre (ISC) on Thursday evening.

“I invited him to visit Kerala and he assured me that he would try his best to make the visit at the earliest,” Vijayan said.

Shaikh Hamdan said the UAE’s leadership and people followed the disaster in Kerala with great care, according to WAM. He reiterated the UAE’s commitment in humanitarian work and offering assistance to the needy, especially during emergencies.

Shaikh Hamdan affirmed the UAE’s interest in strengthening bilateral relations and developing cooperation in all fields with India to bring goodness to the peoples of both brotherly countries.

The chief minister also met Shaikh Nahyan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, chairman of Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, at his office in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. Vijayan invited Shaikh Nahyan Bin Zayed to visit Kerala; the latter accepted the invitation and promised to visit Kerala in near future, said a statement issued by the chief minister’s office.

The visiting chief minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan, addressing a public meeting at the Indian Social and Cultural Centre (ISC) in Abu Dhabi.

The chief minister briefed the various initiatives of his government to rebuild Kerala and Shaikh Nahyan expressed deep concern about the devastation, and instructed his top officials to look into the areas of cooperation to help Kerala.

It was decided that the Zayed Foundation officials would explore ways and means to be a part of Kerala’s rebuilding process, said the statement.

The chief minister also met Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE minister of Tolerance, in the capital on Thursday and thanked him and the UAE rulers for their support and benevolence towards Kerala and Keralites.

Shaikh Nahyan said Kerala and Keralites are very close to the UAE and they are ever ready to extend any support to Kerala, said a statement issued by the chief minister’s office.

Meanwhile, the chief minister told a business meeting in the capital that he was not even expecting to get the full amount of eligible assistance from the Indian government to the flood-hit state. “As per the norms, the state is eligible to receive around Rs40 billion (Dh1.99 billion assistance from [Indian] central government. However, given the history of releasing such assistance to the states, it is unlikely that we will get the full amount,” Vijayan said at the event organised by the Indian Business and Professional Group (IBPG).

He said Kerala’s secular mindset helped for the unified rescue and relief operations during the flood. Many religious shrines opened their doors to accommodate people, irrespective of their faith. The youth also dispelled doubts raised by the older generations about their social commitment and actively took part in the mission, the chief minister said.