Kerala budget may offer sops for jobless diaspora

February 18th, 2009 - 8:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 18 (IANS) Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac Wednesday hinted that his budget, to be presented Friday, would have some special offers for the large number of NRIs, who are returning home after losing their jobs due to the economic slowdown.
“The situation in the Middle East is such that by June this year more than 200,000 people will return. Though the centre should have announced some sops, it is yet to happen. But in my budget there will be some measures for them,” Isaac told the state assembly.

Kerala NRI organisations have requested both state and central governments to announce sops for the returning NRIs like interest-free loans and writing off some loans that they have taken.

According to the Centre for Development Studies based here, over two million Keralites are living outside the country, with 90 percent of them in the Middle East.

Over the years, the remittances made by them have kept the state economy afloat.

Last fiscal, Kerala received Rs.24,525 crore (Rs.245.25 billion/$5.049 billion) as remittances, which is about 20 percent of the state’s net state domestic product and 30 percent more than the state’s annual receipts.

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