UAE amnesty 2018: Kerala appoints contact persons for free air tickets
India’s southern state of Kerala has appointed four representatives in UAE to have air tickets offered for free to Keralites who are looking to go back home right after availing the ongoing visa amnesty.
“They will do the needful to arrange the flight tickets for the needy Keralites,” a senior Kerala Government official told Gulf News on phone from India on Tuesday.
Harikrishnan Namboothiri, CEO of Norka-Roots, a public sector undertaking under Non-Resident Keralites’ Affairs Department (Norka) said, “If people are coming in groups, we will arrange transportation from airport to their homes. It can be considered case-to-case basis.”
Namboothiri said, “The primary contact point for this initiative is Kochukrishnan, a director of Kerala Pravasi Welfare Board under the Kerala Government, and other three are members of Loka Kerala Sabha (LKS), a common platform constituted by the government for Keralites living across the globe.”
When asked whether the government will fund the air tickets, he said: “It is immaterial who will fund the ticket. The four representatives will arrange the tickets in coordination with Norka-Roots officials [such as vice-chairpersons and directors who are also prominent businessmen in the UAE] and others.”
“We will make it sure that everyone availing of amnesty returns safely and comfortably,” Namboothiri said.
There are more than a million Keralites in UAE that constitute for the largest Indian expatriate community.
A study report published in 2014 by migration expert S. Irudayarajan of the Centre for Development Studies here points out that 90 per cent of Kerala’s 2.3 million diaspora are in various Middle East countries, of which the UAE accounts for 38.7 per cent followed by Saudi Arabia with 25.2 per cent.