The Cabinet subcommittee, entrusted with the formulation of a rehabilitation plan for Keralites returning from Gulf countries, is considering plans to make available loans of up to Rs.20 lakh each for self-employment ventures to groups of five.

The committee, which met here on Tuesday, decided to collect information on the kind projects that the Gulf returnees preferred before finalising the scheme. Another round of discussions would be held after contacting applicants and eliciting their interests. Then the proposals would go to the Cabinet for approval. Finance Minister K.M. Mani and Minister for Non-resident Keralites Affairs K.C. Joseph told the media that more than 15,000 applications had already been received for assistance under the rehabilitation scheme. Their tastes were not fully known though many of them wanted to run taxis.

Mr. Joseph noted that the banks in the State had NRK deposits of more than Rs.6,000 crore. So, they would be requested to provide loans under the rehabilitation scheme. The State Financial Enterprises already had a scheme for NRKs. The applicant was to make deposits for five years while working in the Gulf countries. On their return, they would be eligible to receive twice the amount as loans for starting self-employment ventures.

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