Vijayan flays Planning Commission for failure to aid Kerala diaspora


Thalassery (Kerala) : Beleaguered Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Kerala state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan Thursday lashed out at the Planning Commission for failing to support the state government in helping the large number of the Kerala diaspora likely to be affected by the economic meltdown.

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Speaking to reporters here on the third day of his state wide march, Vijayan said the state government has recently launched the Pravasi Welfare Fund, meant for the rehabilitation of the diaspora who are now in trouble as a large number of jobs in the Middle East are being cut.

“Kerala has a large work force in the Middle East and the latest reports indicate that 30 percent are likely to lose jobs and it is here that the Commission failed to come to the support of the state government,” he said.

Kerala today has more than two million of its people settled outside with close to 90 percent in the various Middle East countries.

Over the years, the remittances made by them have kept the state economy afloat.

Last fiscal Kerala received Rs.24,525 crore (Rs.245.25 billion/$5.049 billion) as remittances, which is about 20 per cent of the state’s net state domestic product and 30 percent more than the state’s annual receipts.

“It is at times like this that the Centre should come forward to help programmes floated by the state government. The negative approach of the Commission is not going to help and they should change their attitude towards the state,” said Vijayan.

The CPI-M leader has been charge sheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation in a 12-year-old graft case, concerning a contract he had signed with a Canadian company as the state power minister in 1997.