CM Pinarayi Vijayan promised to take the issue up while addressing a conference in the Loka Kerala Sabha (LKS).

Kerala govt to ask Centre to frame new law for welfare of expatriates
news Politics Thursday, January 02, 2020 - 18:16

Ker govt to press Centre to frame law for expatriatesThe Kerala government on Thursday said it would press the Centre to frame necessary legislation to ensure the welfare of expatriates.

Inaugurating a conference being held as part of the second Loka Kerala Sabha (LKS), a platform of Non-Resident Keralites from 47 countries and 21 states, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan assured his government "will take up the matter of the legislation with the Centre".

Attacking the BJP-led NDA government, CM Pinarayi said there is no national policy or legislation for the welfare of expatriates despite the challenges and exploitation being faced by them and added the "insensitiveness" towards the NRI community is "quite unfortunate".

Despite its limitations, the Kerala government had taken a lot of initiatives in this regard, he said adding the Centre does not have a system to support or provide information to those who wish to migrate to other countries, nor to ensure their safety, whereas the state government has initiated a pre-departure training.

The LDF government has also started skill development courses to cater to the need of professionals in foreign countries.

Pinarayi added that it was unfortunate that the Union government does not equip the embassies to efficiently intervene and end exploitation of expatriate employees abroad.

With the formation of Pravasi Legal Cell, the state was trying to provide maximum help to the NRKs, he said.

Pointing out that there was no national level policy to ensure rehabilitation of the returnees, he said the state government had, however, taken steps in this regard too by strengthening the activities of NORKA (Non Resident Keralites Affairs) and Pravasi Welfare Board.

The CM also suggested a consortium be formed jointly with expatriates, state government and the centre and he would bring this to the notice of the Union government.

Though the Centre is planning a new emigration policy, there is no indication that it would consider issues like the exploitation by middlemen and the discriminatory approach in verification of migration documents of the expatriates based on educational qualification, he said.

The Sabha should also actively involve in policy making platforms related to migration, he said.

The migration of Malayalees within the country has come down to 5.25 lakh from seven lakh within three years, the CM said adding the government with its limitations was trying its best to ensure the safety of those migrants too with constant communication with the respective state governments.

The expats have invested recently in major projects like airport, multi-speciality hospitals and convention centres in the state.

The recently registered Pravasi Investment company, Pravasi Chitti and dividend bonds too provide secure investment options, he said.

The State government has also effectively initiated talks with the Sultan of Sharjah, which helped to free 149 expats from jail, the CM said.

Kerala Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan presided over the function.

The opposition Congress-led UDF has boycotted the meet.

Union Minister of state for External Affairs V Muraleedharan, who was the chief guest, also kept away.

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