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New rules hit migration from Kerala

Tough govt rules force recruiters to seek manpower from other countries.

By Tk Devasla

Published: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 11:44 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:59 PM

Trivandrum — Migration from Kerala has been hit hard by the new set of regulations introduced by the federal government aimed at preventing  exploitation of foreign job seekers and ensuring transparency in the recruitment process.

While recruitment of nurses from the state to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries has come to almost standstill following the ban on recruitment by private agencies, a new set of rules making it mandatory for foreign employers to register on the government’s eMigrate system has dashed the chances of hundreds of blue collar workers.

The rule also requires foreign employers to get clearance from the country’s diplomatic missions and to declare the terms and conditions of the employment of each category at the time of applying for the registration in the government website.

Placement agencies said that the new regulations have proved to be cumbersome for the foreign employers. They say this may force them to look at other countries where there are no such regulations for meeting their manpower requirement.

Foreign employers have already going to other countries for nurses following the ban on recruitments to 12 emigration clearance required (ECR) countries, which include most of the GCC states. Recruitment of maids from Kerala has also been hit by another regulation making bank guarantee a must to go abroad.

Though the government had appointed three government agencies for recruiting nurses, none of the foreign employers have approached them so far with their requirements. While new recruitments have come to a halt, about 800 nurses recruited before the rule came into application are stranded in the state.

Non-Resident Keralites Affairs Minister K C Joseph has called on the Members of Parliament from the state to mount pressure on the federal government to clear the impasse over the recruitments. Joseph said that some countries like Kuwait had raised objections to the new set of rules. Many of them have started looking for manpower from other countries in the wake of the introduction of the new regulations.

He said that the Overseas Indians Affairs Ministry had introduced the new rules without providing for a mechanism for their implementation. He has urged the government to put on hold the new regulations until the required mechanism is put in place.

The new regulations have hit Kerala the most since the state is depending heavily on foreign jobs for solving the unemployment problem. The number of unemployed in the state is more than four million according to the latest economic review.

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