Gandhinagar | Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today sought the Centre’s support to rehabilitate Indians who have returned from Saudi Arabia after change in laws there. The trends indicate that the employment opportunities in the Gulf sector may diminish and reforms like ‘Nitaqat’ may force the Indians to return to the home country.
We must think about how we can rehabilitate those who come back to India and in what way we can make use of their expertise, Chandy said here at the 13th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas here. The ‘Nitaqat’ law makes it mandatory for companies in Saudi Arabia to hire one Saudi national for every 10 migrant workers.
Over two million Indians are currently working in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government was implementing the Nitaqat law to cut unemployment in the country. We are bound to obey the laws of the land where we live, but at the same time we have to protect the genuine interest of the Indian diaspora also, he said.
Although the Kerala government has chalked out a rehabilitation package, however, it lacks resources to implement it, he said. We anticipate a good support from the government to rehabilitate the returnees in a proper and useful way, he said. The Chief Minister said there was a need to provide online voting facility to NRIs by making change in the electoral laws and developing suitable technology.
We have given voting right to the NRI community and now we must think about providing on-line voting facility to the NRI’s by developing suitable technology and making changes in the electoral laws. I welcome this move, Chandy said. Chandy also appreciated Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s effort to bring back Indian nurses stranded in Iran and Libya last year.
He asked the government to put a check on exorbitant and unreasonable airfares charged by the airlines, including AirIndia, from Indians returning from Gulf for festivals and vacations. About 70 per cent of Indians in Gulf are not paid properly and they are finding it difficult to purchase air tickets. They should be given reasonable facility to join their family at least one time, he said.
There is a need to channelise the remittances sent by Indians towards the development of the country, he said. If properly channelised, NRI remittances can make a significant impact on the states, Chandy said. Welcoming the statement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the world is looking at us and the opportunities are plenty in India, Chandy said the country has become an emerging world power and we were proud of that.
We achieved this by the planned development agenda of our first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. We have to stand united and should carry all sectors of society together for fulfilling our goals, he said.
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