Thiruvananthapuram: The stage has come for Kerala to look to look beyond the diaspora remittances that have so far helped it go forward, state Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said here on Thursday.
"It must be understood that in most of the Middle East countries, local people are being employed increasingly. This will seriously affect Indians in general and Keralite's in particular. It's here that a political consensus should be developed in taking the development needs of our state forward, because we will not be able to depend on diaspora remittance for a long time," Chennithala said during a media interaction on the future of the state - both in politics and in development..
The most recent study conducted by K.C. Zachariah and S. Irudayarajan of the Centre for Development Studies reveals that the number of Kerala emigrants as on 2014 was 23.63 lakh. Ninety percent of the Kerala diaspora is in the various Middle-East countries.
During the 12-month period ending March 1, 2014 the total remittances to Kerala stood at Rs.72,680 crore. He said the state government should come out with schemes to invest these remittances.
"Agriculture and industry will not take us forward; Kerala should concentrate on industry and tourism and seek investments," said Chennithala. He also pointed out that the once-famed Kerala model of development is slowly coming to a standstill and that it should be reinvented, as times have changed.
"Today every political leader in the state cutting across political parties speaks of Kerala 'missing the bus' for development. Kerala will have to take a new path for development and it would be best if the vehicle chosen is the private-public partnership which the people (PPPP) also have to join. Along with this there should be political consensus coupled with political consistency," said Chennithala.
Speaking on politics he said at the moment there is no need for any thought of a leadership change in the government.
"There have been issues with us and we are now on an introspection course...The CPI-M due ti its failed dogmas has no future and is currently groping in the dark and the recent change of leadership is also not going to help them," added Chennithala.