Kerala survey on migrant workers to start in May
April 17 2013 10:25 PM
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Chief Minister Oommen Chandy
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy


By Ashraf Padanna/Thiruvananthapuram


Kerala, home to a majority of Indian workers in the Gulf, will launch a comprehensive survey on migration from the state and its impact on families to plan and execute a welfare and rehabilitation plan for returnees.
The state last month announced the new study ahead of a possible return of a large number of from Saudi Arabia after the kingdom tightened its labour laws.
“The surveyors appointed by the Bureau of Economics and Statistics will visit each household of the expatriate beginning on May 1,” Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said yesterday.
The cabinet sanctioned Rs19.5mn to the nonresident Keralites Affairs (Norka) department for conducting the survey. The chief minister sought the co-operation of NRK families by furnishing the correct information as the state has no sufficient data on migration.
Chandy said the federal government had already begun a nationwide survey on non-resident Indians (NRI).
“We are committed to providing all help to expatriates after studying the issue in detail,” said Chandy, who visited the United Arab Emirates last week and conducted a mass contact programme where he received nearly 1,000 petitions from the expatriates.
The authorities fear up to 100,000 migrants might return from Saudi Arabia.
This will have a huge impact on the fragile economy of the state which is largely dependent on remittances from abroad.
The total non-resident deposits in Kerala banks stood at Rs627.09bn as of December 31, 2012.
According to the 2011 study by the Centre for Development Studies, the remittances were 31.23% of the state’s net state domestic product (NSDP), which is 1.6 times the revenue receipt of the Kerala government, 6.2 times what the state gets from the central government as revenue transfer and more than twice the government’s annual expenditure.
Women volunteers of Kudumbasree, the state’s poverty eradication mission, will visit every household in the state and collect the data, which will be the largest study on migration ever conducted in Kerala. More than 20% of households in the state depend on the overseas remittances for their sustenance.

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