Sops for Kerala diaspora in Governor's address
The Kerala government announced a slew of measures for the Kerala diaspora, including setting up of a NRI Commission and beginning recruitment for jobs in Middle East countries, outlined in Kerala Governor P Sathasivam`s address to the state assembly on Friday.
Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government announced a slew of measures for the Kerala diaspora, including setting up of a NRI Commission and beginning recruitment for jobs in Middle East countries, outlined in Kerala Governor P Sathasivam`s address to the state assembly on Friday.
"Visa cheating and criminal offences against the life and property of non-resident Keralites (NRK) has become a very serious problem today. My government has decided to establish a NRI Commission to deal with such cases exclusively and effectively. My government has initiated steps to start the recruitment of persons to various Gulf countries by government agencies," said Sathasivam.
Incidentally, it was the first address by Sathasivam to the assembly after becoming the governor last year.
However, the Left opposition walked out of the assembly as soon as Sathasivam rose to read out the government`s policies for the year.
Leader of opposition VS Achuthanandan rose at the same time as the governor and was heard speaking a few sentences which were not audible.
The governor smiled and paused for a while before going on to read his address as the entire Left opposition walked out of the house.
The Left opposition has made it clear that they will not allow "tainted" Kerala Finance Minister KM Mani, currently facing a vigilance probe in the "bar scam case", to present his 13th budget on March 13.
Sathasivam pointed out that Kerala is hugely indebted to the NRK`s for their contribution to Kerala.
"The total remittance of NRK`s to Kerala is more than Rs 90,000 crores, over and above the NRK deposits of about Rs 97,400 crores in the various financial institutions as on 30th September last year," said Sathasivam.
The most recent study conducted by KC Zachariah and S Irudayarajan of the Centre for Development Studies revealed that the number of Kerala emigrants as of 2014 was 23.63 lakh, with 90 percent residing in various Middle East countries.
The only state in the country that has set up a NRI (non-resident Indian) Commission is Punjab and Kerala has already studied its functioning. The announcement to set up such a Commission is expected to be made next Friday when Mani presents the budget for the next fiscal.
The NRI Commission would have the status of a quasi-judicial body and the diaspora could engage lawyers, who would be appearing before the Commission on their behalf.