- Vijayan stated in a letter to Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday that airfares to numerous Gulf nations have soared.
- He states that the unskilled and semi-skilled workers, who make up the majority of NRIs in the Gulf, are the worst affected.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan asked the Centre on Thursday to take necessary steps to make airfares to the Gulf more affordable.
According to the Chief Minister, the COVID-19 pandemic has had the most impact on expats, who have written to Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia to express his concerns and that many of them who came to India during the first lockdown last year have been forced to remain in the country without employment.
“Now that numerous flight routes are opening up, they are eager to return to their places of employment and start afresh.” However, it has been observed that prices in certain sectors, notably flights to the Gulf, have risen significantly.
In his letter, Mr Vijayan requested Mr Scindia’s “urgent action” to make it accessible to everybody, and said, “After more than a year of unemployment, many are finding it impossible to pay these airfares that are being quoted now, which are sometimes two or three times the regular prices.”
According to Kerala CM, the semi-skilled and unskilled workers, who make up a significant number of pravasis in the Gulf, are the most impacted.
The CM stated that during the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, India’s goal has been to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of its people.
“As our people are trying to get their livelihoods back on track, your kind gesture in this regard will be much appreciated. More people being able to travel abroad at affordable airfare, will also mean that more money comes into India’s exchequer by way of foreign exchange and will hasten the economic recovery of the country,” Pinarayi Vijayan stated.
According to a recent poll done by the Centre for Indian Migrant Studies (CIMS), many NRIs who have returned to India have not collected their pending dues from the firms they left. A total of Rs 62 crore was deprived from the 397 people who returned. Due to employment loss, almost 11 lakh people returned to Kerala during the pandemic.
It was previously reported that airfares to Gulf nations skyrocketed within hours of the UAE relaxing restrictions on Indian travellers in the first week of August.