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Isaac moots aid mechanism for Gulf returnees

T.M. Thomas Isaac’s proposal is on the lines of ‘Islamic banking.’

T.M. Thomas Isaac’s proposal is on the lines of ‘Islamic banking.’  

Special Correspondent

Interest-free loans for starting own job ventures

Employers abroad told to associate with State scheme

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac has said that the State government will examine the possibility of setting up a financial mechanism along the ‘Islamic banking’ principles to rehabilitate Keralites returning jobless from Gulf countries because of the global economic recession.

Addressing an international gathering of delegates, including those from West Asia from where many Keralites are returning jobless, Dr. Isaac said that such a mechanism would provide loans to the returnees interest-free for starting their own employment ventures. The resources for providing interest-free loans must come from the profits this mechanism or institution would generate through other financial operations.

Dr. Isaac was delivering the keynote address at an international conference on ‘Financial Crisis in the Gulf and its Impact on South and South East Asian Migrants’ at the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) here on Tuesday. The Institute for Population and Social Research (IPSR), Thailand, is also associated with the two-day conference funded by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Dr. Isaac suggested that the employers abroad also associate with the welfare fund scheme the State had set up for helping those employed in other countries. It would also be a reassuring gesture if the employers of recession-hit countries adopted it as a policy to re-employ the retrenched employees once the economies had recovered. Kuwait had done this after the war with Iraq. Tens of thousands of Keralites had to flee Kuwait during the war, but the employers in that country re-employed a large number of them when the war was over.

Others who addressed the inaugural session of the conference included CDS Director K.N. Nair, CDS Professor S. Irudaya Rajan, UNIFEM representative Deepa Bharathi and IPSR representative Charamporn Holumyong.

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