DUBAI — The non-resident Keralites (NRK) in the UAE have expressed their dissatisfaction with the new budget presented in the Kerala Assembly on Friday as it has no provision to help the NRK’s who are struggling in the Gulf countries.
A cross section of NRK’s told Khaleej Times that they are disappointed with the budget and feel that the government is treating them just like ‘milch cows’. Sudheer Kumar, a labourer working in a company in Al Qooz, said, "The government just wants the money we bring home from our hard work. The budget is only talking about economic zones and clubs which will only benefit the business class and not ordinary workers and professionals.”
He said that the government should offer assistance to the labourers who are struggling when they return home. "There should be a provision for rehabilitation. But the government is only talking about economic zones and clubs. They should realise that more than 90 per cent of NRK’s are ordinary workers," he said. Wilson, a media professional said, "I do not understand this attitude. Expatriates are the backbone of Kerala’s economy. But it seems like the government is only interested in their money. They should do something creative to rehabilitate them when they return home."
He pointed out that recently the number of NRK’s committing suicide have increased alarmingly. "The government should look into the issue seriously and do something for these workers who plan to return home with their problems."Most of them are committing suicide because of financial troubles. If they know that the government will assist them to survive back home on their return they might refrain from committing suicides," he said. Naseer, owner of a cafeteria in Deira said, "It is shocking that still the Kerala government is treating us just as money making machines. They are only interested in our money while they only continue doing things in the interest of the upper class which includes the business people. The new budget presented in Kerala assembly is disappointing for the NRK’s and the government should change their attitude towards the NRK’s." He suggested that the government should introduce rehabilitation schemes for the NRK’s coming back home with job problems.