The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) has demanded that the State government and the Centre take immediate steps to rehabilitate Malayali expatriates returning home for good from Saudi Arabia in the wake of the enforcement of the Nitaqat programme for employing more local people in the Gulf nation.

IUML general secretary K.P.A. Majeed said in a statement here on Thursday that the Centre should intervene to take up the issue with the Saudi Arabian government. The Nitaqat programme had triggered a fear psychosis among the Malayali population in that country.

Emigrants from the State were afraid even to report for work fearing the police. The majority of them worked for paltry salaries. Hundreds of them were ready to return home. The returnees should be rehabilitated.

Economic crisis

Mr. Majeed said the exodus of the expatriate workers would lead to massive unemployment and an economic crisis in the State.

In such a situation, the Centre should interfere to pressure the Saudi Arabian government to withhold its Nitaqat programme.