HYDERABAD: With NRIs from the Gulf countries returning to India owing to changes in local labour and visa policies in their work countries, the remittance to India is witnessing a sharp decline, pointed out an NRI activist. About 10 lakh people from Telangana work in Gulf countries. “On an average about Rs 1,500 cr is remitted to Telangana banks from Gulf countries every month,” said Mr M. Bheem Reddy, Telangana Migrant Rights Council member. He pointed out that many ongoing projects in the Gulf countries were either stalled or scrapped because of internal conflicts or wars.
In several places, new labour laws and employment rules were introduced. This has resulted in large scale retrenchment of workers. Mr Reddy explained that the Telangana government indirectly got revenue of about Rs 100 crore every month through customer spending. “The fact is the families on receiving the money spend it on various things to meet their needs. And every purchase is taxed in some or the other way, bringing in the money for the government,” Mr Reddy said.
“The remittance to the State will come down further in the coming years. In the last few years, the countries in the Middle East have seen numerous changes in their policies including employment”, Amjedullah Khan, MBT leader and NRI rights activist said. According to the Reserve Bank of India report released last year there was a drop in 2016-17, with Rs 3.66 lakh crore remittances against Rs 4.38 lakh crore the previous financial year. A report of the World Bank stated that the overall remittances in the country came down by about 20 percent.
Shabbir blames state for inaction
Leader of opposition in Legislative Council, Mr Mohammed Ali Shabbir blamed the Telangana government for the hardships faced by Gulf returnees. Mr Shabbir said that the state government has failed to bring out a NRI policy despite being in power for the last four years. “Gulf returnees are in a financial mess after coming here. Instead of helping them with training and rehabilitation, the government closed down the National Academy of Construction (NAC) centers that had been set up to train and rehabilitate NRI returnees,” Mr Shabbir Ali said.
“During the ongoing Kuwait Amnesty issue, the state government did not offer free air travel to the Gulf returnees who are now left stranded despite getting an assurance from the TRS party, he said. Mr Ali said that about 1,000 persons are still stranded in Kuwait waiting to return to the state.
The state should immediately get in touch with ministry of external affairs and ensure the smooth passage of the persons who were left jobless in Kuwait, he added. Mr Shabbir Ali also said that minister for NRI affairs, Mr KTR should immediately ensure that the NRI policy is introduced and the Gulf returnees whose numbers are swelling are rehabilitated. “The state is only giving verbal assurances of setting up a NRI department online like the one in Kerala. But nothing has happened in the last four years,” Mr Shabbir Ali said....