Kerala to offer ticket to 1,000 Amnesty Seekers

11 December 2012

After the Indian Government faced harsh criticism on fees being charged to the country’s poorest hoping to take advantage of a two-month amnesty from the UAE, the fees for some will be reimbursed.Meanwhile, the Kerala state government may come up with funds for 1,000 air tickets for amnesty-seekers, with the Indian Embassy promising more.

Noel Thomas, chief executive officer of Norka-Roots, the field agency of Non-resident Keralites Affairs (Norka) department, said the state government was planning to reimburse Dh69 charged by the embassy as service charge to all the amnesty seekers.The amount would be reimbursed on their arrival at the airport, he said.

The Norekel official said that the beneficiaries for the free tickets would be selected on the basis of certain criteria, to be specified by the cabinet. He said that those requiring the ticket may have to produce a document stating that they could not afford the air fare.

Noel, who returned from a visit of the UAE recently, told Khaleej Times that Norka had proposed free air tickets to those who could not afford the airfare from the UAE to Kerala. The department has estimated the number of those requiring free tickets at 500 — though it has requested the government earmark funds for 1,000 free tickets.

He said that the Indian Embassy will also be offering free tickets to some from the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF). The embassy had offered free tickets to 1,200 persons during the 2007 amnesty.


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