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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
  • 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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Onam Celebrations in Kerala to Be a Low Key Affair as State Recovering from Devastating Floods

Over 6,000 people are still staying in 86 relief camps set up in the state

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Onam, Kerala, Floods
Heavy rains have battered several districts of the state since the past fortnight leaving 125 people dead and destroying property worth crores. Pixabay

Onam celebrations in Kerala will be a low key affair as the state is recovering from devastating floods, the state Cabinet decided at its weekly meeting here on Wednesday.

Heavy rains have battered several districts of the state since the past fortnight leaving 125 people dead and destroying property worth crores. Over 6,000 people are still staying in 86 relief camps set up in the state.

Last year, the state government was forced to cancel Onam celebrations after the state witnessed similar floods and devastation.

Onam, Kerala, Floods
Onam celebrations in Kerala will be a low key affair as the state is recovering from devastating floods, the state Cabinet decided at its weekly meeting here on Wednesday. Pixabay

Onam is the harvest festival of the state. It is primarily celebrated for three days, but the festivities continue for more than a week with educational institutions closed and the state holding cultural programmes in all the 14 district headquarters. This year however, the gala may be subdued.

Also Read- Exposure to Toxic Air Pollutants Linked to Increased Deaths

The state government has announced distribution of Rs 10,000 relief payment to all the flood-affected families before September 7. The concerned secretaries and the village officials have been asked to distribute the compensation amount to the victims. (IANS)