New forums like a chamber of commerce in all regions the Kerala diaspora is settled, a body for all professionals, setting up of a development fund are some of the fresh initiatives that the Kerala government will soon set up, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced at the concluding session of the first 'Kerala Loka Sabha' in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday.
The two-day event, which began on Friday, saw participation of 351 members, including legislators, MPs from the state and some 130 selected representatives of Kerala-based organisations from within and outside the country.
Vijayan pointed out that all these initiatives have been formulated at the various sector wise discussions that took place and said this event will be held every other year.
"A new body comprising the business chambers in the various regions that our diaspora is there would be set up and it is meant so they could interact with the various chambers in our state for their development.
"A new body of professionals would also be set up so as they can also interact with the various organisations here to share their knowledge. Another idea that will now turn into a reality is the setting up of a development fund where the diaspora can contribute and once such people who return will be accommodated in such ventures that are set up here, based on their qualifications and experience," he said.
In his speech on Friday, Vijayan said the main objective of this event is to ensure that through fresh initiatives, the diaspora could well be an engine for the state's future growth.
The event was held in the building of the Kerala Legislative Assembly here and Kerala Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan and a panel of seven members coordinated the event.
The BJP's state unit on Saturday too termed the event "nothing but squandering of money".
Senior BJP leader A.N. Radhakrishnan said that it's strange that an event was held without even showcasing a single project.
"The state government can do a lot of things for the diaspora and for that all, what they need is to cooperate with the centre. Crores of money that is provided by the centre is being blown up and this is one such event," he said.
Senior Congress legislator and son of former Chief Minister K. Karunakaran, K. Muraleedharan termed this meet as "nothing but a waste of money" at a time when the state coffers are practically empty.
"Precious funds are being wasted and this comes at a time when it's been a few months that pension of the (state-run) Kerala State Road Transport Corporation employees has not been paid. The selection of the delegates to the meet has now come under criticism also. Something is wrong somewhere with this government," he said.