Letter to the Union Minister for External Affairs

Dear Smt. Sushma Swaraj ji,

I am writing this letter seeking your intervention regarding improvising and continuing the Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana launched by Oversees Indian Affairs Division of Ministry of External Affairs under you. As you are aware, the beneficiaries of this scheme are Indian workers who require Emigration Clearance for taking up employment abroad. Most of them come under the unskilled worker category. Even though the qualitative profile of migrating Indians have recently undergone a major change and more skilled and professional jobs are being taken up by Indians, it is true that there are large numbers of Indians who are potential beneficiaries of the scheme working abroad, particularly in Middle East. During my recent visit to UAE, I had the opportunity to personally understand their plight. Moreover in the current economic situation, mutual funds investments have suddenly become more lucrative.

In the above context, my government has initiated a process by which the scheme can be meaningfully popularised among expatriate Indians, initially in the Middle East, by launching an intensive enrolment programme focussing on the labour camps there. Obviously this will require the wholehearted involvement and support of Indian Missions there.

Against the above background, there are some news items that your ministry is intending to scrap the programme altogether. I may point out that this may not be advisable at all at this stage. The scheme which provides life insurance cover, a revenue stream for their old age and also a corpus for facilitating their return and resettlement needs to be improvised and continued. I would therefore urge you to ensure continuance of the scheme and also instruct Indian Missions in Middle East to extend necessary assistance to State Government in our proposed campaign to popularise the scheme among emigrant workers. I have instructed my Resident Commissioner in Delhi to be in close touch with your officers in this regard.

I do hope that you will intervene in the matter and issue appropriate instructions to your officers. I will call on you during my next visit to Delhi

With regards,

Yours sincerely,

PINARAYI VIJAYAN

Smt. Sushama Swaraj,
Hon’ble Union Minister for External Affairs,
Government of India,
South Block, New Delhi-110011.