Thiruvananthapuram: Finance Minister K.M. Mani, presenting the state budget for 2013-14 in the assembly Friday, proposed a special fund to help the diaspora returning to the state.
"There are close to three million Keralites working abroad. Of late, the job scenario in Middle East is changing and forcing our people to return. To help such people, we are starting a scheme in which the diaspora can contribute," Mani said.
"Once they come back for good, an amount equal to that in their account would be given as a loan at three percent interest rate to help them start a viable business. The state-owned Kerala State Financial Enterprise will run this programme," the minister added.
Deposits made by the diaspora in commercial banks in Kerala rose to Rs.55,000 crore as in June last year, up from Rs.38,000 the previous year.
Another proposal related to the diaspora in the state budget was to set up 'Malayalam Missions' in countries like Bahrain, Japan, Ireland, Singapore, Dubai and Malaysia to help the second and third generation Malayalees to connect with the Malayalam language and culture.