Dubai/Abu Dhabi: A Dubai conference this weekend will see the launch of a dividend-cum-pension scheme for expatriates from the South Indian State of Kerala and deliberations to set up institutions to support them, the state’s Chief Minister told Gulf News on Tuesday.
In an interview ahead of his four-day UAE visit that begins on Wednesday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan confirmed that he would launch the lifelong monthly dividend-cum-pension scheme based on a one-time deposit at the first Middle East Regional Conference of the Loka Kerala Sabha (LKS) or World Kerala Assembly, which will be held in Dubai’s Etisalat Academy on Friday and Saturday.
500000 rupeesminimum investment required to enrol in the dividend-cum-pension scheme
LKS is a global platform constituted by the government for more than 3.5 million Non-Resident Keralites (NRKs) across the world. Of the 200-strong LKS members from across the globe attending the summit, 25 will represent an estimated one million Keralites in the UAE, the largest expatriate community in the country.
Vijayan said the NRKs can invest Rs500,000 (Dh25,952) minimum or its multiples in the new scheme.
“On completion of five years, depositor or his/her legal heir will get a monthly income. The deposits will be invested in Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) or similar financial agencies. The interest from KIIFB will be given as dividends,” he explained.
5 yearsLock-in period before getting the first dividend
As Gulf News reported on October 30, 2018, the scheme will be able to ensure a high return (possibly around 12 per cent) as the deposit will be locked in during the lifetime of the depositor and his or her spouse, the most probable nominee. This means the government gets the deposit for a long time — probably 20 to 40 years to utilise it for development projects through KIIFB that facilitates development of both physical and social infrastructure in the state.
The chief minister pointed out that a government body is giving a monthly pension of Rs2,000 (Dh103.80) to NRKs returning from abroad after their employment.
“It is the present government that assumed office in 2016 enhanced the pension to Rs2,000 from Rs500. It was a gesture towards NRKs’ contribution. However, we can’t say it is an adequate scheme,” he said.
Vijayan and top officials of the state government will attend the two-day conference in Dubai’s Etisalat Academy on Friday and Saturday. He will address a public event of around 15,000 Keralites on Friday evening.
New entities planned
The chief minister said the conference would discuss other welfare measures for NRKs and the establishment of important institutions to support the state’s development with their support.
The Kerala Government has shortlisted 10 proposals that include, setting up an investment company, cooperatives, construction company and an International Migration Centre for promoting migration studies.
Rs2000existing monthly pension for NRK returnees
The chief minister said the details of the proposed institutions and remaining six proposals would be revealed after the discussions at the conference.
“We will take a final view after the deliberations at the LKS.”
He said the ten proposals were shortlisted from 48 recommendations received from seven standing committees of LKS, which deals with seven different topics for the state’s development and NRKs’ welfare. These seven committees were constituted in the first conference of the LKS held in January 2018 in Kerala.
“As you know LKS is a unique venture to provide a common platform for Keralites living across the world for productive interaction among themselves and with the state government. I believe LKS would ensure participation of NRKs, who have been contributing hugely in numerous ways for the development of Kerala,” he said.
Vijayan said the LKS has a permanent secretariat to guide and monitor its functions. “Our experience is that all the respective committees are functioning well. The LKS has instilled confidence among NRKs as they have now a say in the matters relating to their state,” he said.
Highlights of the Dubai conference
Conference will discuss 10 proposals including setting up of four important institutions for NRKs such as investment company, cooperatives, construction company and an International Migration Centre for promoting migration studies.
■ Chief Minister will launch of a lifelong dividend-cum-pension scheme
■ Summit to discuss many welfare measures and rehabilitation schemes for expatriates returning home
■ 200 LKS members to attend Dubai summit
■ 25 members represent around 1 million Keralites in UAE
■ 15,000 Keralite expats to attend public event on Friday evening
■ 48 proposals mooted by committees of LKS
■ 7 standing committees of LKS deal with different topics