Dubai: Hopes of a new pension scheme for expatriate Keralites were dashed when the first regional conference of the Loka Kerala Sabha (World Kerala Assembly) ended on Saturday without the promised announcement.

While the event was largely described as a success with initiatives being launched on Friday to safeguard women and address grievances of the expat Malayali community, the government’s failure to launch the promised lifelong dividend-cum-pension scheme during the event left many disappointed.

However, a top official stated that the government has in principle approved the scheme and is set to roll it out very soon after putting in place the pending technicalities involved in launching it.

“In principle, it has been approved. It is in an advanced stage,” Dr Ellangovan, principal secretary of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (Norka), told Gulf News.

He said the International Migration Centre, another project that was discussed at LKS, would be launched in April.

He and Tom Jose, the state’s chief secretary who is also secretary general of the LKS, said the final recommendations of the LKS standing committees will be implemented. No time frame was given though.

In principle, it [the proposed lifelong dividend-cumpension scheme] has been approved. It is at an advanced stage.

- Dr Ellangovan, Principal Secretary of Norka

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan assured the participants that the government would honour the recommendations of the LKS standing committees.

“We are considering them very seriously. Preliminary action has been taken on many recommendations,” he said.

Kerala Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan said LKS is a successful experiment in the history of Indian democracy as it offered a chance for expatriates to participate in the policy-making process.

“To ensure we give participation to a wider community, 30 per cent of the members will be replaced with new ones every two years,” he added.

Dubai model smart police station to be set up in Kerala

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan with Yousuf Ali M.A., vice-chairman of Norka-Roots, and John Brittas, media adviser to the chief minister, visited the smart police station in Jumeirah on the invitation of Commander in Chief of Dubai Police Major-General Abdullah Khalifa Al Merri. Also attending were Brig Adullah Khadim, Col Hussain Bin Galitta, Maj Ahmad Bin Fahd. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A Dubai model smart police station will be set up in Kerala, the south Indian state’s chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Saturday.

His announcement came after he visited the smart police station in Jumeirah on the invitation of Commander in Chief of Dubai Police Major-General Abdullah Khalifa Al Merri.

Speaking at the concluding session of the regional conference of the Loka Kerala Sabha (World Kerala Assembly), he said he was so fascinated by the smart and paperless police station.

The fully automated police station offers services, including reporting of crimes, traffic incidents and community services.

Noting that there is no Indian language among the five in which the services are offered, he said he requested Dubai Police to add Malayalam as the first Indian language to be used in the kiosks of the smart police stations here.

Vijayan said he also sought the help of Dubai Police in setting up a similar project back in Kerala.

“I immediately contacted the state’s police chief and instructed him to study the details to set it up,” he said to the applause of the audience.

Vijayan said he also held talks with the heads of the Community Development Authority in Dubai to facilitate the establishment of a socio-cultural organisation for the Malayali community in Dubai, licensed by the CDA.

Speaking at a previous session, the chief minister said his government will reconsider the Air Kerala project that was deferred earlier. Though the viability of the project was in doubt, he said there is still scope to re-assess it.