The Institute of Small Enterprises and Development has cautioned against extending a blanket rehabilitation package to NRKs in the event of an exodus from Gulf countries.

According to P.M. Mathew and JMI Sait of ISED, giving special status to all NRKs on grounds of their foreign exchange contribution would be a flawed policy.

The duo, who piloted an ILO project on ‘Enterprise Development for the Return Migrants’ in 2003, warned that an ‘enterprise development approach’ needs to be implemented with great caution. Otherwise this would mean simple doling out of public funds.

According to them, professional NRIs having technical or managerial skills often do not come back. The host countries try to retain them at all costs, they said.

Given this reality, it is critical to analyse the core competence of the return migrants both in terms of managerial and technological skills, the duo said.

Kerala’s policy relating to migrant labour from other parts of the country, also need to be examined in the context of the current situation, they added.

For the poorer sections, the government can think of some short-term rehabilitation package or temporary relief measures. But, putting people on the entrepreneurship route needs a professional approach, they added.

(This article was published on April 7, 2013)
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