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Kerala seeks to include NRIs in Aadhar card plan

Chandy urges Centre to include NRIs in the scheme

Gulf News

Kochi:Non-resident Indians from Kerala who contribute their might to the state’s economic progress may soon get more recognition at home, if the state government’s request for Aadhar cards for them is accepted by the federal government.

State chief minister Oommen Chandy yesterday requested the federal United Progressive Alliance government to include non-resident Indians, too in the Aadhar registration process. Aadhar cards are unique identity cards for all Indian citizens that the federal government has been rolling out as part of a grand plan.

Chandy, who spoke at the on-going Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here yestwerday, requested the federal government to consider including NRIs in the Aadhar list after the process was completed for resident Indian citizens.

The state government also has plans to amend the state panchayati raj and municipal legislations to enable non-resident Keralites to vote in the local body elections.

The chief minister also mentioned an oft-heard complaint of non-resident Keralites – that the national carrier Air India was adopting a “lethargic” attitude to services in the Gulf-Kerala sector.

The state government has plans to roll out its own airline, named Air Kerala, to address this issue. A company board has been constituted to realize this dream, piloted by the state government, though there are counter opinions that it would not be possible for a state government to profitably run an airline. The nay-sayers point to the fact that the federal government itself has failed in running Air India, which has run into losses of billions of rupees, and that even the private airline sector is witnessing strong financial turbulence.