Uttarakhand CM Bahuguna urges Chidambaram to issue 'missing' certificates

New Delhi, Aug. 9 (ANI): Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna met Finance Minister P. Chidambaram here on Friday to discuss the issuance of certificates for those missing in the aftermath of the flash floods of June in the hill state.

Bahuguna said after the meeting that he asked Chidambaram to have the certificates issued and handed over to the Uttarakhand Government.

"We have primarily requested for two things. One regarding the issuance of certificates for missing people so that their bank accounts remain operational and LIC (Life Insurance Corporation) should honour their policies," said Bahuguna.

"For this, we already had a discussion with the Home Minister (Sushil Kumar Shinde), and today, I met the Finance Minister. The certificates should be given to the Uttarakhand Government and a decision will be taken by Monday," he added.

Bahuguna also appealed that service tax should be waived off till March 31 to provide relief to the tourism industry.

"The tourism industry has been badly hit and there is also a service tax which applies on all the hotels and restaurants. So, we have requested them to waive off the service tax till March 31 with an aim to provide relief to the tourism industry," he said.

Bahuguna had earlier last month refused to declare 5,748 people missing in the mid-June disaster as dead, saying the mission to find them will not be given up.

The Indian Armed Forces made an invaluable contribution in the search and rescue operations in Uttarakhand, which was devastated by cloudbursts and floods in June.

The Uttarakhand Government has announced financial compensation for people who have had their homes damaged or destroyed, and money for livestock losses.

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, has already announced 1,000 crore rupees for disaster relief measures in the flood-devastated parts of the state.

Various Central Ministries have also announced additional financial assistance for Uttarakhand. (ANI)

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