Non-Resident Keralites urged to join welfare fund

MUSCAT, SEPT 6 – Non-Resident Keralites in the Sultanate have been urged to join the State-run welfare fund which allows them draw a steady income after their superannuation or after the time when they have ceased to be an expatriate in a foreign land.
Likewise, the monthly fee to be paid is Rs 200 while the pension amount is increased to Rs 2,000. A proposal to increase it to 3,000 is already filed.
“If the man dies before his 60 years of age, his dependants’ compensation has been increased to 100,000 from 50,000 after this month”, said P M Jabir (pictured), Director, Kerala Non Resident Keralites Welfare Fund Board (NRKWFB).
The age for enrolling in the scheme was 55 years earlier.
The TK Hamza-led Board had recommended to raise the age to 60 but it took long 5 years to the then government to accept it.
“Now NRKs residing outside Kerala within the age of 60 years can become the members of the welfare fund by enrolling themselves in the prescribed form with a payment of Rs 200. The new board has made a fresh recommendation to the government to further raise the age to 65 for the returned migrants”, he added.
Also, the financial assistance to dependents of a deceased member has been doubled from Rs 50,000 to Rs 100,000.
As per the scheme, those who discontinued paying the monthly contribution for more than one year needs to pay certain amount as fine and interest to reregister as members. The board has decided to give a moratorium for six months for such members to pay the arrears and continue their membership.
“The NRKs can now register online to become members of the scheme. The system has been made more user-friendly and more banks have been included in the list”.
Additionally, there are provisions in the scheme to the benefits such as family pension, pension scheme for invalids, financial assistance to dependents of deceased member, financial assistance for medical assistance, scheme for financial assistance to marriage and maternity benefits and educational grant.
“We are trying to liaise with the registered Indian associations to reach the grassroot people to make them beneficiaries of the programmes of this State-run Fund”, he added.

KABEER YOUSUF