The Kerala government will soon submit a Rs 2,000 crore proposal to the Union government for rehabilitation of those from the state who have returned home permanently from abroad amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Wednesday, October 27. This is in addition to the various relief packages the state has already provided to them, he told the Assembly.
Referring to data from the COVID-19 portal, the Chief Minister said that till October 26, a total of 17,51,852 people returned from abroad. A majority of them have come back from Middle East countries. "However, as per the Airport Authority of India, from May 2020 till October, a total of 39,55,230 people have travelled through various airports. A majority of them have returned," said Vijayan.
Highlighting his government's achievements, he said a sum of Rs 5,000 each has been given to 1,33,800 people who came back with a valid passport and a valid job visa, but have not been able to return. "Apart from this, we gave Rs 10,000 each to 181 returnees who tested COVID-19 positive besides Rs 1,000 each to 18,278 people who receive the diaspora pension," said Vijayan.
He said the portal figures show that around 12.57 lakh returnees have lost their jobs. The state government has earmarked Rs 50 crore for them in the 2021-22 Budget to start some enterprise. "Numerous schemes are there for the returnees to start some productive ventures and it includes loans, interest subsidies and similar sops," added Vijayan.