The state of Kerala plans to approach the World Bank to borrow Rs.3,000 crore to fund the rebuilding of public infrastructure in the state. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, during an interview, stated that the state will take a loan but he did not disclose the exact amount. A source, who is aware of the details of this development, revealed that the state is preparing a proposal for the Rs.3,000 crore loan.
Vijayan said that the state has suffered huge losses due to the floods in Kerala. These floods have been said to be the worst floods Kerala has witnessed in over a century. While as many as 384 people lost their lives, a million other people have been displaced. In terms of infrastructure, 80,000 km of roads, and 39 bridges were lost. Also, 50,000 houses were washed away or were damaged to the extent that residents could not inhabit the houses again.
The cost of rebuilding public infrastructure for the state is expected to go up to Rs.20,000 crore. The Centre has provided an amount equal to Rs.600 crore to Kerala, though the state government had demanded Rs.2,000 crore. PM Modi, however, stated that the Rs.600 crore was only an advance assistance and that more funds will be provided from the National Disaster Response Fund.
The Centre had earlier refused to accept financial aid being given by foreign countries. The UAE wished to provide Rs.700 crore to the state but the Centre did not approve the same. The government of Kerala is hence in talks to take an international loan. The state government will begin talks with the World Bank first and then reach out to other foreign institutions. This could not be done earlier as the state was still recovering from the devastating floods.