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Kerala to work for diaspora's welfare: Governor

Kerala,Defence/Security,Diaspora,Politics, Sun, 26 Jan 2014 IANS

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 26 (IANS) The Kerala government is committed to the welfare of the diaspora, said Governor Nikhil Kumar in his Republic Day address here Sunday.

"The state government is committed to the welfare of the non-resident Keralites by extending financial assistance and welfare packages. The state government will intervene and a package will be there for those who have returned from Saudi Arabia on account of the Nitaqat issues," said Kumar.

Kerala diaspora has held together the state's economy for the past four decades through their foreign remittances.

According to latest studies, this contribution is 1.6 times the revenue receipt of the Kerala government, 6.2 times of what the state gets from the centre as revenue transfer, and is more than twice of the government's annual expenditure.

In other words, it can meet 60 percent of the state's public debt.

Diaspora remittances currently are 31.23 percent of Kerala's net state domestic product, and if the remittances touch Rs.75,000 crore, then it would reach 35 percent, an all-time high.

Kumar said that in the wake of the Gadgil and Kasturirangan committees' report on Western Ghats, the state government is determined to ensure that the people's rights are protected.

Kumar earlier took the salute of security forces at an impressive parade and gave away awards to meritorious police officials.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy reached the venue after returning early in the day from the UAE where he had gone for a personal visit.

Parades were also held at the headquarters of the Air force in the capital city and at the Southern Naval Command in Kochi.

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