Attempts being made for a general amnesty for six months: Chandy

The Central government will bear the travelling expenses of those returning from Saudi Arabia following the enforcement of Nitaqat, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said.

Responding to leave for an adjournment motion of K.V. Abdul Khader (CPI-M) in the Assembly on Monday on the travails of those forced to return from Saudi Arabia in the wake of the restrictive job law, Mr. Chandy said the Centre would bear their travelling expenses.

He said the situation was not alarming. News blown out of proportion would harm the interest of the Indians there. The Centre was trying to settle the issue using the goodwill and warm bilateral relations. Attempts were being made for a general amnesty for six months so that those who had changed their sponsors in Saudi Arabia could set right the documents.

The State government had submitted a package before the Centre comprising the steps which the Centre should initiate for the rehabilitation of the returnees on its own, those which should be taken up jointly by the Central and State governments as well as the State alone. Earlier, Minister for NoRKA warned against publishing exaggerated news reports about the development. The embassies were functioning round the clock offering all services to the Indians there.

The Department of NoRKA would conduct a door-to-door survey in association with the Panchayat Department for collecting data about the Non-Resident Keralites in the Gulf, the Chief Minister said.

Amendment sought

Mr. Abdul Khader sought a comprehensive amendment to the Emigration Act to protect the interests of the Indians in foreign countries. Nations like the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia have already framed such legislation.

The Emigration Act passed in 1986 is nothing but a true copy of the British India Emigration Act, 1922. He demanded the Prime Minister’s intervention to find a solution.

Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan demanded that an all-party delegation be sent to Delhi to make the Centre aware of the gravity of the issue.

Based on the government explanation, Speaker G. Karthikeyan denied leave for the motion.

  • State seeks Central rehabilitation package

  • NoRKA to collect data on Gulf Malayalis