With a view to alleviate the sufferings of Keralites working in Gulf countries, Norka is planning to start Advisory Committees in all major cities of member nations in the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Responding to a calling attention motion of K V Abdul Khader (CPM) on various issues confronted by Malayalees working in the Gulf Sector, Minister for Rural Development, Planning, Culture and Norka K C Joseph said that an estimated 40 lakh Malayalees were working in Gulf countries and contributing around Rs 50,000 cr as remittances to the state every year .
He said the main issue in front of the State Government was that there was no exact data on the number of Keralites working abroad or even within the country for fine-tuning concrete plans .
“The Gulati Institute is on the job of compiling necessary data. The government is committed to provide relief to the expatriate population,” he said. “The decision to start Air Kerala is based on the conviction that there was no let up in the maltreatment of Malayalees in the hands of the national carrier Air India,” the Minister said.
Joseph also assured that Norka will definitely step in to facilitate the transfer of bodies of Keralites dying in the Gulf region, if the Indian embassy or the sponsors of workers were hesitant.
To a query,he said that all Malayalees working abroad and those who have returned can participate in the Pravasi Bharat Divas slated in Kochi on January 7, 2013.Online registration has been allowed and the fee is only Rs 1,000 per delegate.The State Government has made fruitful efforts to help Malayalee workers to make the best use of amnesty granted by the UAE. “The government has taken steps for paying the requisite fee on behalf of those seeking amnesty. But the Centre itself has taken the financial commitment now,” he said.