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The Pravasi Legal cell says many Indians returning home have lost their jobs Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Non-resident Indians (NRIs) living in the UAE have submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Finance, Government of India (GoI), seeking compensation and a rehabilitation scheme for returning Indian nationals from the UAE.

A formal letter (a copy of which is with Gulf News) has been sent out to Indian authorities by the Pravasi Legal Cell (PLC) — a registered non-governmental organisation (NGO) comprising judges, advocates, social activists and other Indians.

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The letter addressed to Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s Minister of Finance, reads: “We wish to bring to your knowledge that PLC has filed many public interest law-suits (PILs), considering the challenging times, before the Supreme Court. The petitions we filed have sought repatriation of Indians stranded in GCC countries ...”

Sreedharan Prasad, PLC country head, UAE, said: “In the letter, we have urged the government of India to utilise the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) for bearing the expenses of poor migrants who are unable to travel to their home country due to lack of funds.”

Sreedharan Prasad

As per recent reports, more than 8.78 lakh Indians have returned from abroad under the Vande Bharat Mission.

In a strongly-worded letter, the PLC has asked the Indian government to provide investment opportunities to returning citizens of the country as most of them have suffered a job loss in the UAE. The NRIs also asked the government to provide financial support to expatriates whose family members have died of COVID-19 in the UAE.

“Besides, we want to make sure Indians are not made to run from pillar to post for getting approvals to begin a new venture in India. Things should be made simpler for returning expats,” said Prasad.

Prasad said, “The attempt should be to limit human interference to the maximum in securing clearance approvals, as that will avoid delay and corruption. We also want the Indian government to direct all banks to provide loans at low interest rates to expatriates who have plausible business models to start in the country. The government should provide them with incentives to start their manufacturing units in the country,” said Prasad who is an active social worker in the UAE.

Other proposals in the letter

Need to encourage expats to invest in agriculture, education and health sectors, primarily in India.

Entrust an authority to formulate a database of all returning expatriates. This database must mandatorily highlight the skills of each returning expatriate.

The government must use its influence and diplomatic relations to open new job avenues for Indians in popular destinations.

The government must allot funds for starting counselling centres across the county, which would specifically cater to the expat Indian community. The centres should not be restricted to providing counselling for alleviating mental stress, but it should be equipped to provide details of new job opportunities and also ways to hone their existing skills.