Achuthanandan to launch welfare fund for diaspora in Dubai

January 15th, 2009 - 9:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 15 (IANS) Kerala chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan Thursday announced that he would travel to Dubai February end to inaugurate the collection to a welfare fund being set up for the diaspora. This fund is being set up as part of the Pravasi Kerala Welfare Bill, 2008 that was passed by the state legislature last year.

The chief minister was speaking after a meeting of the board of directors of the state government agency that looks after the programmes of the nearly two million people from the state settled abroad.

Incidentally this would be Achuthanandan’s maiden trip abroad after becoming the chief minister in May 2006.

“The exact dates are being worked out but will be in Dubai in the third week of February to inaugurate the collection of the contribution from Keralites there,” said Achuthanandan.

Speaking to IANS, Roots-Norka board member Manjalamkuzhi Ali said that this sort of fund is being set up for the first time in the country by any state government.

“All those who wish to join the scheme can contribute Rs.300 every month and the state government will right now contribute two percent,” said Ali.

This scheme is also open to Keralites settled outside the state but within the country and also for the nearly one million those who worked abroad and has since returned. For them the contribution is fixed at Rs. 100 every month.

“The fund will be used to pay out monthly pensions and the minimum term that any person should contribute is five years. The pension would be operational once the contributor gets to the age of 60. In the case of death, the contribution will cease and the family would be eligible for a monthly pension,” said Ali.

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