JEDDAH — Indian main stream political parties are wooing votes of families belonging to Indian expatriates in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations back home in India ahead of elections, especially in Telengana.
Telangana state, where crucial assembly elections are being held, the welfare of NRIs is fast becoming one of the focus areas for India’s grand old Congress party. Saudi Arabia houses a large number of Indian community who hail from the state and the people are known widely as Hyderabadis.
“We will allocate Rs. 500 crores for the welfare of Gulf NRIs where major beneficiaries are from Saudi Arabia”, said Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President N. Uttam Kumar Reddy.
Redday, who is former pilot of Indian Air Forceand had flown the MiG 21, MiG 23 and had also held key positions in Indian President’s Office while serving in Air Force, was in Dubai recently along with top leaders of Congress to meet NRI community from where he spoke with Saudi Gazette over the phone to share his plans for the welfare of NRI community in the region.
He said that a comprehensive NRI policy would be announced within 100 days of the Congress government, if voted to power. The policy will cover all major aspects such as rehabilitation, health care, reservation in educational institutions, skill development etc.
Uttam said that Congress would also accord the Arogya Sri, health insurance policy, that extends medical care up to 5 lakh rupees for NRIs and their family members, with the coverage also including treatment upon return from abroad.
The Congress chief also said that next government formed by his party would extend financial aid of Rs.5 lakh to each families of NRIs, who had died in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries in the last four years.
He pointed out that the present TRS government led by K. Chandrashekhar Rao has not given any monetary relief to any of the deceased since it came to power 4 years ago. He said that over 1,000 NRIs, mainly poor workers, had died in Gulf countries during the last 4 years.
To ease pressure and complement the Indian missions in the region, the Congress government would establish legal cell at provincial level to assess and assist NRIs who required legal assistance, Reddy added.
Highlighting the woes of families seeking repatriation of dead bodies, the Congress chief said that, government would establish help desks at district level to support bereaved families at grass root level. He added, free education would be imparted to children of dead NRIs.
He emphasized that government would focus on legal and safe migration to Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region within the legal frame work. The Congress leader said that government will pay attention in enhancing skill levels of job seekers and will strengthen NAC (National Academy of Construction) in this regard.
Reddy criticized TRS government at state level and BJP at national for having failed to address NRI community issues that is one of important backbone for economy of the country as it remits thousands of crores rupees.
The leader also said that Congress government would use it efforts to establish Royal Saudi consulate in Hyderabad. The leader also revealed that the AICC President Rahul Gandhi is planning to visit Dubai in January, 2019.