World | India

Kerala working out new plan which looks beyond diaspora

Exercise to benefit younger generation of state

  • IANS
  • Published: 19:05 May 13, 2013
  • Gulf News

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala is working out a plan for its economy so that the state will rely less on remittances from the diaspora and more on its resources.

“The perspective plan aims to target by 2030 the annual per capita income, which currently stands at $4.7 (Dh17.2), touches $19,000. And in 2040, it would climb to $36,000,” State Planning Board chief K.M. Chandrasekhar said while unveiling the draft of the plan on Monday.

He said today 77 per cent of the growth in the state is achieved from sectors such as construction and real estate and is driven with the help of remittances, which constitute almost 20 per cent followed by tourism revenues.

“If there is a fall in the remittances due to various reasons, then it does not augur well. Hence it’s all the more important that we have to look elsewhere for finding new channels of development and hence this plan is of utmost importance. The technical assistance to the plan that’s being worked out is being provided by the Delhi-based NCAER.

“We are trying to benchmark our development objective based on countries like Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, where top priority is given to social security,” said Chandrasekhar, who is a former cabinet secretary of India.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the plan had been discussed with some sections of the society and soon it would be put up on the website for more people to have a look.

“We are doing this exercise to benefit the younger generation of the state who will come of age after 2030. We want to change the mindset of the youth and in the years to come what we want is that people from here need not have to go looking for work outside the state, instead provide them jobs here itself,” said Chandy who is celebrating the second anniversary of his government on May 18.

For more than three decades, Kerala’s economy was dependant on the remittances from the diaspora, receiving a record Rs500 billion from the non-residents, more than 90 per cent of whom work in the Middle East.

In recent days, Saudi Arabia’s push to get businesses in the country to employ more of its citizens has sent tremors through the thriving “remittance economy” of Kerala. It also has caused a small wave of what might be called distress migration from Saudi Arabia.

Chandy pointed out that from June onwards every Wednesday there would be the routine cabinet meeting and on Thursday there will be a special cabinet meeting. “In the special cabinet meeting, the agenda would be finalised one month before and we will discuss issues threadbare with all concerned and this is being done to speed up the implementation process in areas where immediate attention is needed.”

He also said that the focus in the third year would be to provide world class health care to the people. “What we want is to see that right to health gets implemented. We wish to give the best available treatment to the people,” added Chandy.

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