Making entrepreneurs out of Gulf returnees

With reverse migration from West Asia to the State turning out to be a major concern, the Department of Non-Resident Keralites’ Affairs (NoRKA) has streamlined the rehabilitation and reintegration of the returnees into society.

With nationalisation policies in the Gulf Coordination Countries (GCC) forcing the return of hundreds of migrants to the State, the department’s focus now is on ensuring sustainable livelihood for return emigrants by promoting self-employment ventures. The NoRKA Department Project for Return Emigrants (NDPREM) will help returnees commence self-employment ventures with the help of leading financial institutions.

K. Harikrishnan Namboothiri, Chief Executive Officer, NoRKA Roots, told The Hindu that the NDPREM enables the returnees to find a reasonably steady income. The project explores the possibility of various agencies accepting the returnees as special customers and handholding them to comply with the government procedures to start businesses.

MoUs with 13 institutions

Under this scheme, a capital subsidy of 15% would be provided for projects with a capital outlay of up to ₹30 lakh per applicant and 3% interest subsidy for the first four years for prompt repayment of the loan. MoUs have been signed with 13 financial institutions, including banks, and this facility is now available through 4,000 branches across the State.

NoRKA Roots takes care of the screening, orientation, and training to boost the managerial capabilities of the entrepreneurs. The Centre for Management Development (CMD), an autonomous institution under the Department of Industries, is the nodal agency for giving sector-wise training to the applicants. The CMD also makes available free project reports to potential entrepreneurs and helps them start new ventures.

Figures so far

The funds are provided for returnees aiming to set up ventures in agriculture, service, building, and business sectors. During 2018-19, 791 potential entrepreneurs benefited from the scheme. Since its inception in 2013-14, 2,600 persons have enrolled for the project. An amount of ₹136.49 crore as loan, capital subsidy of ₹27.83 crore, and an interest subsidy of ₹4.23 crore have been distributed till now. The budgetary support for the scheme for 2019-20 is ₹15 crore.

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Printable version | Aug 2, 2021 10:53:39 AM |

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