Call to create adequate employment and small investment opportunities for expats

The problem of Gulf-returnees can be addressed by creating small-scale investment opportunities and creating adequate number of jobs, Pravasi Welfare Board chairman P.M.A. Salam has said.

He was inaugurating a seminar here on Tuesday on overcoming the crisis due to the return of Indians, especially Keralites, from Saudi Arabia, following the implementation of the Nitaqat law in the kingdom.

The government should effectively rehabilitate those returning from the Gulf as a result of different naturalisation programmes there, he said.

“Generating small-scale investment openings for expatriates can go a long way in addressing their problems. That has to be done with the security of the government on such investments,” Mr. Salam said.

Various fraudulent investment schemes had destroyed the confidence of the general public. They were wary to invest even in genuine schemes, Mr. Salam said adding that only the government’s security could win the confidence of the ‘already-exploited and beleaguered’ expatriate population, he said.

The board, with the help of NoRKA-Roots, the field agency of the Non-Resident Keralites’ Affairs Department, had submitted such investment proposals to the government, Mr. Salam said. The next Cabinet meeting was expected to discuss these, he added.

“Meanwhile, regional collectives and various other Pravasi welfare organisations also should come up with imaginative proposals to surmount the crisis,” he said. Indo-Arab Confederation Council chairman Attakoya Pallikandy said most of those returning from the Gulf countries were workers with experience in different sectors.

“It is important that the government think about creating new employment avenues to accommodate the valuable workforce as it can benefit the State’s economy,” he said. District panchayat president K. Jameela said the government should make the best use of the extended Nitaqat deadline.

“The media should also get their priorities right instead of running after the sensational stuff,” Ms. Jameela said.

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