Kerala to offer package to returned diaspora

A five member cabinet sub-committee Tuesday decided to clear a comprehensive package for Keralites who have returned from abroad and wish to set up their own businesses.

Finance Minister K.M. Mani said he has asked state-owned financial institutions to offer schemes to Keralites who have come back.

So far 15,000 applications for financial assistance have been received at the Non-Resident Keralite’s Affairs Department (NORKA).

“We will screen these applications and based on their aptitude, we will give them necessary guidance,” said Mani.

NORKA Minister K.C. Joseph said: “We will ask the State Level Banker’s Committee to direct banks to offer loan schemes for these people. They have the moral responsibility as these banks are the biggest beneficiaries of the NRI deposits that have crossed Rs.60,000 crore.”

He added that the cabinet sub-committee would meet again to draw out the financial assistance package.

“We are planning to extend a maximum Rs.20 lakh to a group of not more than five returnees if they wish to start a joint business initiative. Many have applied to buy vehicles to be operated as taxis,” added Joseph.

He added that 9,000 people have returned from Saudi Arabia where labour laws are being tightened.—IANS