Vimala Vasan

Abu Dhabi, Jan.9

THE UAE-based Pravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust has welcomed the initiatives announced by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and called for their quick implementation.In a statement, the Trust's Chairman, Mr K.V. Shamsurdheen, pointed out that several of the initiatives announced would have a positive impact on Gulf-based NRIs.

"Dr Singh has announced `on-site welfare measures' including easy-to-use remittance facility and launch of a more liberal Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Yojana from February 1 this year. Besides streamlining and modernising the process of emigration, the Government will support initiatives to develop skills of workers and set up credible mechanisms for certification of those skills and set up a special mutual fund to change the saving culture of middle income NRIs from GCC countries, who spend most of their earnings. We request the government to implement the announcements at the earliest," he said.

The Trust has in the past few years, been requesting the Indian Government to address a host of issues related to Gulf-based NRIs. He pointed out that a survey conducted by the Trust, on the savings pattern among middle income NRIs, showed that only 5 per cent could manage a comfortable life when they return to India and only 2 per cent saved from the remittances sent from abroad.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 10, 2006)
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