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India on a protective migration policy

india Updated: Sep 15, 2006 14:29 IST
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India is working on its first migration policy aimed to protect Indians who go abroad in search of employment.

The research unit funded by the Ministry for Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) attached to the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) here is working on the migration policy.

The research unit, which does work related to migration by Indians and on the Indian diaspora, is readying a draft document of the proposed migration policy.

Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi had in June inaugurated the unit and announced a grant of Rs.14.70 million.

S. Irudayarajan, who heads the unit and is the one who prepared the draft policy, said: "The draft is ready and it has now got to go through several federal ministries before it is ready. It looks into the qualification requirements that a person should possess before he leaves for a job outside the country. Today anyone and everyone leaves the moment the visa arrives and lands into trouble."

The draft policy also looks at providing adequate incentives for all non-resident Indians who park their hard earned money in the country.

"The policy suggests special interest rates for such funds and also measures to promote investments by NRIs in the country," said Irudayarajan.

The unit has entered into tie-ups with select institutes in Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra to conduct studies on migration in these states, similar to what was done by Irudayarajan in Kerala.

"For each state we envisage a budget of half a million for the elaborate study. One NRI organisation has come forward to sponsor the study. We expect agencies like banks and private financial institutions to support our study," he added.

Kerala today accounts for 55 percent of the total outflow of migrants from India to the Middle East. More than two million Keralites currently work outside the country, close to 90 percent of them in the Gulf.

Annual remittances from non-resident Keralites have reached Rs.200 billion ($4.3 billion) - close to 25 percent of the net domestic product of the state.

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