M.K. Muneer, Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) State secretary and former Minister, has asked the Union government to expedite the process to bring legislation giving voting rights to non-resident Indians (NRIs).

Inaugurating the first conference of the Kerala Pravasi League in the city at the Town Hall here on Sunday, Dr. Muneer also urged the various NRI organisations to keep on pressuring the authorities to take steps to expedite the legislation process.

Dr. Muneer, who alleged that successive governments had utterly failed to utilise effectively or invest the remittances of the NRIs in the State, said that even banks, which were fairing well mainly on the remittance of the NRIs, were not showing readiness to give even small amounts of loans to the struggling gulf returnees.

The conference also passed a few resolutions, including the one demanding the use of the emigration fund remaining unutilised with the Union government for the rehabilitation projects of the poor Gulf returnees.

Earlier, IUML State president Panakkad Hyderali Shihab Thangal hoisted the flag marking the start of the conference.

M.P. Veerendrakumar, leader of a Janata Dal (Secular) faction, delivered the keynote address. P.K.K. Bava, Muslim League leader and district president, spoke.