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Attractive rehab package awaits Keralites returning home: CM Pinarayi Vijayan

The Keralite diaspora is estimated to be three million strong, and a major chunk of them is located in the Middle East

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CM Pinarayi Vijayan. Image Source: PTI
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  • The Keralite diaspora is estimated to be three million strong, and a major chunk of them is located in the Middle East
  • The existing welfare scheme for the returnees is not attractive enough as is borne out by low take-up
  • Presenting the state budget on July 8, Finance Minister Thomas Issac increased the welfare fund for the needy returnees from just Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 crore

Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 14: The Kerala government will offer a more attractive rehabilitation package to those who had to return from the Middle East because of economic downturn or other reasons, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Thursday, July 14.

Vijayan told the assembly that Keralites settled in the Middle East have not only been facing economic downturn due to falling oil prices but also governmental regulations requiring employers to reserve jobs for the locals.

Fall in oil prices. Image Source: venturesafrica.com
Fall in oil prices. Image Source: venturesafrica.com

“On both these issues, it’s our diaspora which will bear the brunt as there is a likelihood of our people returning back,” Vijayan said in response to a calling attention motion moved by CPI-M legislator K.V. Abdul Khadar.

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“To tackle this, the state government will chalk out special rehabilitation schemes and welfare packages. Already there are programmes, but it appears they have not yielded the desired results,” said Vijayan.

The Keralite diaspora is estimated to be three million strong, and a major chunk of them is located in the Middle East.

Thousands of Indians working in these countries have been returning home on account of the downturn caused by steep fall in oil prices as also regulations that aim at increasing the proportion of locals in employment vis-à-vis migrants.

Vijayan said the existing welfare scheme for the returnees is not attractive enough as is borne out by low take-up — only 1.40 lakh people have taken advantage of it.

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“We will work in tandem with the various diaspora organisations to see that the scheme is revised. We will also work with financial institutions to work out suitable schemes for the returnees to set up self-employment schemes and also avenues for employing them,” he said.

The Chief Minister said “path-breaking land reforms” and the “contribution of our diaspora” are two biggest achievements of the state and now the government will do its best to tackle the issues facing Keralites living abroad and those returning.

Dr. Thomas Issac. Image Source: twitter
Dr. Thomas Issac. Image Source: twitter

Presenting the state budget on July 8, Finance Minister Thomas Issac increased the welfare fund for the needy returnees from just Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 crore.

Issac also doubled the fund for the scheme for lending money to the returnees from Rs 12 crore to Rs 24 crore. (IANS)

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A Chit Fund Scheme By KSFE Will Be Inaugurated By CM In UAE Next Month

Programme enables person who joins to complete every process online

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A Chit Fund Scheme By KSFE Will Be Inaugurated By CM In UAE Next Month
A Chit Fund Scheme By KSFE Will Be Inaugurated By CM In UAE Next Month, flickr

The Kerala government’s dream programme to raise money from its diaspora through “chitties”, or a chit fund scheme launched by state-run Kerala State Financial Enterprise (KSFE), will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in UAE next month, Finance Minister Thomas Issac said on Monday.

In an interaction with editors of the Kerala media, he said all the requisite permissions have been obtained from all authorities.

“This programme was initiated by the previous UDF government and the permission to go ahead came at its fag end. After we came to power, we took this forward and all permissions and sanctions are ready and all those diaspora who wish to participate in it can join,” said Issac.

“On June 12, Vijayan will launch the registration process and all those who wish to enter the scheme can register in the KSFE site. Once Vijayan launches the programme in UAE, next month, the chitty scheme will be open,” he added.

Coins
Coins, Pixabay

KSFE Chairman Philipose Thomas said to start with, those who wish to participate can contribute monthly as low as Rs 3,000 to a high of Rs 25,000.

“The duration of the chitty given the nature of the job scenario in the Middle East is kept from a minimum of 30 months to a maximum of 60 months. Once a diaspora member joins he can pay the monthly contribution through his non-resident ordinary account and at the end of the chitty term, the payment will be made to his non-resident ordinary account,” he said.

“The programme enables each person who joins the chitty to complete every process online, which includes even bidding, and at the end of the period, the money will be credited into their bank account. Every aspect of the online process has been tested,” said Unni Krishnan who heads the technology division of the chitty scheme.

The entire programme is being handled by the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board, a government-owned financial institution meant to mobilize funds for infrastructure development outside state revenue.

Its Chief Executive K.M. Abraham, who is a former state Chief Secretary, said that no one needs to donate anything, but only to join a chitty where the money collected will be deposited in bonds and used for the state’s development needs.

“At the end of the chitty, it’s a win-win situation for both the person who joined the chitty and for the state government,” he added.

Kerala CM, Pinarayi Vijayan with PM Narendra Modi
Kerala CM, Pinarayi Vijayan with PM Narendra Modi, flickr

Also read: Reliance home finance celebrates 46 growth in income

According to the latest study report on the diaspora, 90 per cent of 23.63 lakh Keralites aboard are in the various Middle East countries, of which UAE accounts for 38.7 per cent, followed by Saudi Arabia with 25.2 per cent. (IANS)