Indian states such as Kerala and Telangana are planning to bail out the Gulf NRIs, as they prepare rehabilitation packages for the Gulf returnees in the wake of an exodus caused by the oil price slump and the 'Nitaqat' law in Saudi Arabia.
The information of Gulf returnees has increased alarmingly in the last six months, for example Telangana State Government estimates say some four lakh people have been working in Gulf countries, and half of them have returned over the last two years, only. Therefore, the government is planning to announce a special fund which will also be allotted in the state’s budget for Gulf returnees from the following year, onwards.
The proposed rehabilitation package will include giving training in various skills, providing bank-linked self-employment schemes, providing interest-free loans up to Rs 10 lakh to set up units etc.
The applicants will be required to make deposits for five years while working in the Gulf countries. On their return, they would be authorized to receive twice the amount as loans for starting self-employment ventures. The state had plans to make available loans of up to Rs. 20 lakh each for self-employment ventures.
A marathon meeting with officials was recently set up by Minister for NRI affairs K.T. Rama Rao and the officials have also examined the rehabilitation package. On an average each family was found to have debts from Rs.7 lakhs to Rs.10 lakhs. The Telangana state officials are also examining the rehabilitation package adopted by Kerala for Gulf returnees.
Importantly, a similar package has also been offered by the southern state Kerala for the Gulf returnees. In March, 2016, an amount of Rs. 25 crore has been earmarked for rehabilitation of the Non-Resident Keralites (NRK), who had to return home, post the current crisis in these Gulf countries.