[ MIDDLE EAST ]
NRI Consortium to invest over Rs 2,000 crore in Kerala
A Dubai based consortium of NRIs from various countries around the world proposes to invest over Rs 2,000 crore in Kerala to set up IT/ITES enabled Business Parks and Life Spaces projects. The investments would primarily be through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Sebastian Joseph, Chairman of the Consortium, told media. The proposed 'Emerging Kerala' initiative of the state government here next month and its investment friendly policies have given the NRIs confidence to start their project in Kochi, he said.
Pravasi Investment Consortium & Equity Holdings Ltd (PRINCE Holding) promoted Prince GATES (Global Advanced Technology Enabled Society) projects are proposed to be set up in about 100 acres in Kochi, Joseph said. The consortium is awaiting clearances from the concerned authorities and discussions are on with various government authorities and execution partners in this regard, he said. The project is expected to give 20,000 job opportunities.
Each GATES project will contain a Special Business Zone, a Centre for Excellence in Advanced Technology and Innovation, an International Financial Centre, an Education Zone and Hospitality zones comprising clubs, spas, Service apartments and NRI facilitation center, he said. This is perhaps first of its kind investment by NRIs in the country.
At least 350-500 NRIs are participating in each of the projects as a part of the consortium. After the Kerala project takes off, plans are to replicate the same model in other major South Indian cities like Bangalore and Chennai, Joseph said.
The development is envisaged to be completely 'sustainable' and 'self sufficient.' The focus is to collectively pool resources of individual consortium members to create an infrastructure that is conducive to and supporting of technology based firm. It is aimed at facilitating interaction, technology development, economic growth, new venture creation, Shaji Baby John, Chairman Kings Infra Ventures ltd, said.
Kerala workers in Oman in limbo over invalid medical papers
Some expatriates from Kerala are in for uncertain times in Oman as the medical certificates provided by a center in the state have been termed invalid by the Gulf Sultanate's foreign affairs department. These expats have now approached the Indian embassy in Muscat urging it to alert other Indian migrants not to fall prey to Carino National CT & Diagnostic Centre, which is providing medical certificates despite not being authorized to issue such certificates to Oman visa applicants, a news report said. The center's main office is located in Goa and a branch is operating in Calicut, the Times of Oman report said. "We landed in trouble by taking certificates from the center. They made us believe that they have the right to issue medical certificates for visa services. One of the certificates which we sent to Oman was not cleared," Jaison and Sajeev told the newspaper. "When we enquired about this with the hospital authorities they provided us a new certificate and told us there would be no problem in future. But when we landed here and went to the foreign affairs department, they said that National Hospital is not authorized to issue medical certificates to Oman visa applicants." All Indian nationals taking up employment in GCC-member countries are required to be examined and issued a medical fitness certificate. According to the report, when the Muscat-based social workers contacted the center, they did not get a satisfying reply. "I called the medic and the center management. They were not providing us a proper answer. They behaved arrogantly, even though the mistake was made by them," Hussain, a Muscat-based social worker who helped the victims, said. "We have decided to take up the issue back in India as well. If we don't stop this center from issuing certificates, then more and more will be betrayed," Hussain said. The case has brought to light several instances of such invalid certificates following which the jobseekers have had to spend extra money to get the certificates again.
Platform formed for free legal support to NRIs in Saudi Arabia
A non-profitable non-political movement to help needy and poor Indians in Saudi Arabia has been formed. The Pravasi Legal Aid Cell will address the grievances of NRIs who have been suffering from mistreatment and harassment from various corners, the organizers explained.
Named as "Pleace India", the voluntary organization has called Indian embassy and the consulate for taking prompt and effective actions to ensure that legal protection and legal aid are enjoyed by the needy NRIs in the country. "Pleace India" has raised need for the appointment of the local legal advisors in Indian diplomatic quarters in Saudi for ensuring the proper legal aid to its citizens. Indian diplomatic quarters are being collecting 8 Saudi Riyals from each Indian approaching for various consular services as welfare fund though which nearly 15 million Saudi riyal is already available at the disposal of the Indian authorities. The legal aid cell demanded the release of the amount and to utilize it for the welfare service of Indians in the country.
"Pleace India", registered with Supreme Court of India, is a forum under the leadership of charity workers and legal experts, taking steps to support such persons, in association with various social organizations. Indian expatriate community will get free legal advice/help from the Indian legal professionals, who come forward to associate with Pleace India, voluntarily, the organizers explained.
Latheef Thechi, Vikraman, Kamal, Nasar Ranni, Muthafa Keethidathu, Rasheed Marancheri, Mammadu Ponnani, Anwar Vadakkangara explained the activities and working of the organization. Organizers of Pleace India have requested to visit its website (http://pleaceindia. com) and register their petitions, if any.
[ By SATISH VISAVADIA ]