Govt to seek aid from World Bank, ADB to rebuild Uttarakhand

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uttaraNew Delhi, July 1;Government will seek financial aid from multilateral bodies such as World Bank and Asian Development Bank for reconstruction and rehabilitation in flood-ravaged Uttarakhand, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said on Monday.

He said funds will not be a constraint for rebuilding the mountainous state which had witnessed the worst-ever floods last month that killed several hundreds and destroyed properties worth crores.

“We are trying to develop a (financial) package for rehabilitation and reconstruction for which we will go to multilateral bodies, like we did in the (Indian Ocean) tsunami case,” Mr. Chidambaram told PTI.

“Prime Minister has already announced Rs 1,000 crore. Different ministries are using their own funds. Tourism has announced Rs 100 crore. Funds will not be a constraint. I have said it on the first day,” the minister said.

Besides, the government will soon send a joint team of Finance Ministry and Home Ministry to discuss with Uttarakhand state officials the redevelopment plan for the calamity-hit state.

“What I have approved is that a team from the Finance Ministry and Home Ministry will go to Uttarakhand to sit (and discuss) with Uttarakhand Government officers,” Mr. Chidambaram said.

In view of the gravity of the situation, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had last month announced financial support of Rs 1,000 crore to Uttarakhand for disaster relief, of which Rs 145 crore was released immediately.

Dr. Singh had also announced ex-gratia assistance of Rs 2 lakh each to families of those who had lost their lives and Rs 50,000 each to the injured, from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF).

The government had also decided to provide from the PMNRF, an ex-gratia assistance of Rs 1 lakh each to those whose houses have been completely destroyed and Rs 50,000 each to those whose houses have been damaged.

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