Sops for diaspora in Kerala budgetJuly 8th, 2011 - 7:09 pm ICT by IANS
Thiruvananthapuram, July 8 (IANS) The first budget presented by the Congress-led United Democratic Front has sops for the Kerala diaspora by way of a rehabilitation scheme, a legal aid cell and a 24-hour helpline. A new centre will also be set up to improve the skill sets of those who want to go abroad for a job.
According to a study done by the Centre for Development Studies on the diaspora, there are more than two million Keralites working abroad, of whom around 90 percent are in the Middle-East.
The budget, presented by Finance Minister K.M. Mani Friday, was his ninth.
“The Norka department will come out with an elaborate programme for the rehabilitation of those people who have returned from abroad on account of internal issues in some countries,” said Mani. According to the CDS study, the number of returnees from the Middle East has crossed one million in the last one decade.
“For the first time, we will set up a legal aid cell for the benefit of the diaspora. There will be a round-the-clock helpline where a business centre will function to clear the doubts of those interested in investing in the state. Through this centre complaints also can be registered,” said Mani.
Another new initiative is the setting up of an Overseas Employment Skill Testing Centre.
“This would be to improve the skill sets of those who are already employed in the Middle East and also those intending to go abroad. A certificate that would have due recognition would be given to those who undergo the training,” added Mani.
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