Kochi | Kerala Government will soon set up a commission headed by a retired High Court Judge to look into complaints by non-resident Keralites regarding their property and other assets at home, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said today.
The commission which will function under Department of Home and Department of Non-Resident Keralites’ Affairs (NORKA) will have quasi-judicial powers, he said while addressing the ‘Delegate Session’ of Global NRK Meet here. We will present a bill in this regard in the Legislative Assembly.
Once it is passed, we will soon initiate other necessary procedures to set up the Commission, he said. The panel will be modelled on the lines of a similar body in Punjab, which has been successfully addressing the issues of NRIs in that state. Admitting that the current system comprising an NRI Cell under Home Ministry had certain limitations in addressing the grievances of the NRKs, Chennithala said the proposed commission will be awarded full authority to take a final decision on such complaints.
The minister pointed out that the NRKs were being subjected to various types of harassments and exploitations from the moment they land at the airport in their home state. The state government will set up mini police stations at all the three airports in the state, provided the Airport Authority of India (AAI) gave necessary approvals and space, he said.
The increase in the number of Gulf returnees will adversely impact the state’s economy given the fact that the annual NRI remittance to Kerala is much higher than the state’s annual budget. With the Gulf region going ahead with its nationalisation programme which gives preference to natives in jobs and other fields over foreigners, Kerala should seek more avenues for growth, Chennithala said.
There are plenty of opportunities in countries like South Africa and we should make use of it, he noted. During the session, representatives of various NRK associations raised demands ranging from rehabilitation of NRK returnees, increasing age limit of the beneficiaries, becoming members of the state NRK Welfare Board and poor living conditions at labour camps in Gulf countries.
NORKA Minister K C Joseph, former NORKA Minister M M Hassan, Chairman of Legislative Committee of NRKs Abdurahiman Randathani MLA and Abdul Khader MLA were also present at the meet.
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