Kerala CM proposes forum for migrant-sending nations

The CM said India has been signing free trade agreements with different countries
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan.
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan.(File photo)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has called for a forum of migrant-sending countries to work for emigrants’ welfare. He urged the Union government to include a sub-clause on migrant protection in free trade agreements with foreign countries. “Countries like India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines and Mexico are the major countries that send migrants abroad. We should work together rather than compete with each other at the risk of labour exploitation,” he said.

The CM said India has been signing free trade agreements with different countries. “Migration does not get a mention in most of these agreements for comprehensive cooperation. We need to sign migrant protection agreements with major host countries,” he said. The CM said the LKS representatives had demanded safe retirement homes for their parents in Kerala. “Some of the representatives are willing to make investments to establish such homes and complexes,” said Pinarayi.

Kerala branding shows

The Kerala Kalamandalam will stage shows in foreign countries to exhibit and brand the state’s arts and culture. Kalamandalam has prepared a proposal to conduct five-day programmes comprising shows, workshops and seminars. The maiden show will be organised in the US. An online coaching programme will be launched for Kerala’s art forms.

The government will examine all the suggestions and proposals mooted by the representatives at the LKS. The CM spoke about the different programmes of the state government to promote entrepreneurship among expatriate returnees. Over 8,000 self-employment ventures were facilitated under these programmes.

Legal protection for LKS

The CM said the government will take efforts to give legislative protection to the Loka Kerala Sabha to ensure its continuity. He was responding to a concern raised by a delegate, citing the opposition parties’ non-cooperation with the sabha. The delegate said the government had promised to enact a Bill at the previous edition of the LKS. The CM said the government will examine the matter and consult with the Opposition parties.

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