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State to set up NRI Commission

State to set up NRI Commission

Thiruvananthapuram: The cabinet on Wednesday decided to set up a NRI Commission, announced Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

With this, Kerala becomes the second state after Punjab to have such a body. A retired high court judge will be the chairman, and the members will comprise a retired Indian Administrative Service officer, two representatives of the Kerala diaspora and a state government official of the rank of a joint secretary.

To be headquartered here, it would meet every quarter.

While speaking to reporters here, Chandy said the commission will be a quasi judicial body and will address all issues of the diaspora including fake recruitments as well as disputes over properties, and investment.

Chandy later said that a bill for the purpose will be introduced in the upcoming session of the assembly that begins on November 30.

"This has been a long standing demand of the diaspora and our officials after home work have given the nod for setting this up," he said.

Even though there is a special NRI Police Cell, there are limitations in its functioning but with the commission being a quasi-judicial body, diaspora complainants can engage a lawyer who will be appearing before the panel and the complainant need not waste his/her time, unlike when police handles such cases.

The Kerala diaspora has always been regarded as the backbone of the state economy and latest studies reveal that the number of Kerala emigrants as in 2014 was 23.63 lakh, with 90 percent settled in various Middle Eastern and Gulf countries.

During the 12-month period ending March 1, 2014, their total remittances stood at Rs.72,680 crore.

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