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Kerala to provide out-pass for amnesty seekers

If embassy not involved, out-pass fee will be reimbursed in Kerala

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The Government of the Southern Indian State of Kerala will provide flight tickets to Keralite amnesty seekers in the UAE, based on the recommendation of the Indian Embassy here, a top official told Gulf News yesterday.

The state has informed the embassy of its decision to bear the costs of out-passes of Keralite amnesty seekers and a response is awaited, said Noyal Thomas, Chief Executive and Ex-officio Director of Norka-Roots, the field agency of the Department of Non Resident Keralites Affairs of Kerala Government.

About one million Keralites constitute the largest expatriate community in the UAE.

But less than 25 Keralites approached the diplomatic missions for an out-pass during the first week of amnesty.

If the embassy cannot waive the out-pass fee only for Keralites, the money can be reimbursed to the returnees at the help desk to be opened soon at the Kerala airports, Thomas said over phone from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala.

M.K. Lokesh, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, has requested the Government of India to expedite its decision on waiving out-pass fees so that the embassy does not need to make special arrangements for Keralites.

The Kerala official said flight tickets can be given to only deserving people who have been identified by the embassy.

Kerala Government has not taken any decision on the number of air-tickets to be provided because it is not clear how many Keralite illegals arein the UAE, the official explained.

“Deserving candidates have to give an application to the embassy that will give us the number of tickets to be sponsored by the state,” he said.

Last month, UAE authorities announced a 60 day amnesty, which started last week, during which illegal immigrants can leave the country without penalty.