The implementation of the Nitaqat programme in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has negatively affected the lives of many people in the state.
Abdul Kareem, who hails from a village in Malappuram is one among them. He does not have enough bank deposits or assets to start an own business or even to meet the needs of his family. Express met Abdul Kareem at the collectorate when he approached the collector to change his ration card status from APL to BPL.
“The remuneration we used to get in the Gulf as a labourer is somewhat less than what a labourer is now getting in Kerala. While the labourers here enjoy the benefits provided by the state government given for the economically backward classes, we are ostracized after being labelled as NRKs.
The label is a burden to people like us who failed to amass wealth like the rich NRKs”, Abdul Kareem said. One of the major demands of the gulf returnees is that the government must categorise the economic status of NRKs who are doing different jobs.
“The government and the society are fleecing the NRKs. For higher education, there is NRK quota and if we go to a marriage function in our neighbourhood, the person is expecting an expensive gift more than what everyone else are giving to them. It is time that the government takes note of the economic disparities that exist between various classes of workers in the Gulf,” KMCC Jeddah unit leader Majid Kotteeri said.
The state and central governments are yet to chalk out a plan for the gulf returnees, returning to the country after losing jobs, on account of various nationalisation programmes in the West Asian countries. The time period allocated to them will end on this Wednesday.