Rs100 million for non-resident Keralite returnees

Kerala Finance Minister K M Mani has allocated Rs100 million for implementing the package for the rehabilitation of non-resident Keralites returning from Gulf countries due to labour naturalization in his budget for 2014-15 presented in the state assembly on Friday.

By Tk Devasia

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Published: Sun 26 Jan 2014, 12:01 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 12:54 AM

The package approved by the government in November last year includes financial and technical assistance to the returnees to start self-employment ventures in the state. Mani said that the government had devised the package considering the important role being played by the expatriates in the state economy.

The budget has also earmarked Rs20 million for a training programme proposed by the government for the development and welfare of expatriates returning to the state jobless. Highly qualified NRKs will be appointed as master trainees for the programme.

The other major programmes for the expatriates included in third budget of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) and 12th budget of Mani are a data bank of scientific, economic and educational experts and awareness programmes various sections of the expatriates.

The budget has earmarked Rs5 million for the proposed data bank, which is aimed at ensuring the support of highly qualified NRKs in the comprehensive development of the state. One of the awareness programmes included in the budget is to educate the job seekers against visa frauds and fake recruitments.

Another one is to create awareness among the NRKs in America and European countries about the heritage of the state and investment opportunities in the state. The minister has allocated Rs8.5 million for the two awareness programmes.

The awareness programme against visa frauds to be run through print and television media is in the light of imprisonment of large number of people from the state in jails in various Gulf countries. Though the budget allocation for expatriates is much higher compared to the previous budgets, it is silent over their various long-standing demands especially a state airline to ensure affordable travel. The NRKs had expected a financial support to the Air Kerala project in the light of the move by the Civil Aviation Ministry to relax conditions for launching overseas operations.

The minister has been generous to farmers. He has announced a slew of measures for the farmers to give a big thrust to the stagnant primary sector. They include an income guarantee insurance scheme for the farmers with 90 per cent of the premium borne by the government.

Formation of an Agriculture Mission to promote hi-tech farming with the help of agencies like M S Swaminathan Foundation, a debt relief scheme for small holders and setting up of co-operatives for marketing of agriculture produce at the block level, were some other farmer-friendly schemes unveiled in the budget.

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