Dr Shamsher Vayalil. Member NRI Commission Image Credit: Supplied

ABU DHABI: The new NRI (non-Indian resident) Commission set up by the government of Kerala is considering a police cell that will cater to overseas Indians, the newly elected member of the commission Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil has said.

“Dealing with legal issues or property disputes back home is a costly and time-consuming affair for expatriates. Having an NRI police cell in Kerala will be a game-changer for the huge Malayalee expat community,” said Vayalil who is also managing director of VPS Healthcare.

Punjab model

Punjab is the only state in India which has a dedicated NRI police unit. Vayalil said the the commission will study the Punjab model to look at ways to replicate it in Kerala when the commission holds its first meeting later this month.

The NRI Commission was formed last month to safeguard the interests of overseas Indians. The quasi-judicial body will address all issues of the diaspora including fake recruitments as well as disputes over property and investments.

The five-member commission headed by a retired high court justice will meet every three months to evaluate its activities. The members will comprise a retired Indian Administrative Service officer, two representatives of the Kerala diaspora and a state government official with the rank of joint secretary.

The decision, coming close on the heels of the scrapping of the Overseas Affairs Ministry, is expected to give NRIs a direct window to address their greivances. “With its quasi-judicial powers, the commission will liaise with various state and central government departments on behalf of overseas Indians. The complainants can also engage a lawyer to appear before the commission,” said Vayalil.