//Kerala returnee group demands emigration deposit

Kerala returnee group demands emigration deposit

Thursday, August 10th, 2006

Thiruvananthapuram – Kerala Pravasi Sangham (KPS), a group of non-resident Keralite (NRK) returnees, Thursday demanded the centre to utilise the emigration deposit for their welfare.

‘For long this has been a demand by various bodies of NRKs who are back from abroad. A sum of Rs.50 billion is with the centre which has been collected from all departing passengers who have to get emigration clearance,’ Manjalamkuzhi Ali, a ruling front legislator and KPS general secretary, told reporters here.

The emigration department has been collecting Rs.3,000 to Rs.5,000 since 1977 from all passengers who go abroad for jobs.

‘The rule is that this money collected has to be returned to the person after one year, but this never happens and since then that figure has now accumulated to Rs.50 billion. Of this, close to 60 percent is collected from Kerala alone,’ said Ali.

Studies have shown that at any given time close to two million Keralite’s are working in the Middle East countries.

‘On Aug 16, we are going to stage a sit in front of the protector of emigrants office here and with support from Communist Party of India Marxist state secretary Pinnarayi Vijayan,’ added Ali.

KPS in the recent past has raised this issue with Overseas Indian Affairs minister Vayalar Ravi. Kerala lawmakers also have brought up this issue in the parliament.

‘If our protest does not yield immediate results then we would be forced to march to the capital,’ warned Ali.