KERALA PRAVASI WELFARE BOARD
 Government of Kerala

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A large number of people are living outside India. Among them a good percentage belongs to lower or middle income group. This large group of middle-lower income group faces many fundamental problems during their life in the Gulf/other foreign countries and and also when they return to their homeland. The saving habits and rehabilitation facilities available to them are not very promising. Similarly a good percentage of Keralites is living outside Kerala but within India for their being. These Non-Resident Keralites (NRKs-India) are also facing similar circumstances as the NRKs abroad. Realising such circumstances, Kerala State came forward with a unique initiative, first of its kind in the country, to setup a welfare fund to provide welfare schemes to NRKs (abroad) and NRKs (in India). Kerala Non-Resident Keralites Welfare Board came in to existence under the Kerala Non-Resident Keralites' Wlefare Act, 2008 passed in the Legislative Assembly, Government of Kerala. More than eighty five thousand NRKs are members in the welfare fund. NRKs abroad but now returned to India for permanent settlement after at least two years of foreign employment, can also avail membership in this Welfare Fund. The Act envisages many welfare schemes such as pension schemes, family pension schemes, medical aid, death assistance, etc.

PRAVASI WELFARE BENEFITS

(i) Non Resident Keralites of all categories who remitted contributions to the Welfare Fund continuously up to the age of Sixty are eligible for a monthly pension of Rs. 2000/- (Rupees two thousand only) after the age of sixty. The membership will be cancelled automatically if the monthly contributions are not continuously remitted within a period of one year.
(ii) In the case of members, who remitted contributions continuously for more than five years, are eligible to get additional pension equivalent to three percent of the minimum pension prescribed in (i) above, for every completed year of membership over and above the minimum period of five years. However the total pension amount thus received shall not exceed twice the amount of the minimum pension.
If a member who is eligible for super annuation pension has deceased, any one of his family members (wife, children below the age of twenty one years, insane children, major unmarried daughter, dependent mother, dependent father) shall be eligible for family pension of an amount equivalent to fifty percent of the eligible pension for the deceased member.
In the case of persons who have remitted contributions continuously for a minimum period of three years and are unable to perform labour / incapable for undertaking any an employment due to conditions of physical deformity are eligible for an amount as Invalid Pension. For getting the Invalid Pension, the member is required to produce a certificate from the doctor who treated the member and also a certificate from the Medical Board.
(i) In case a member of the Welfare Fund (abroad-Form 1A) deceases due to illness or accident, one of his/her dependents (wife / husband, minor children, unmarried daughter, widowed daughter, mother, father, sister, brother and other legal heirs) is eligible for a maximum financial assistance of Rs. 50,000/- (Rupees Fifty thousand only)
(ii) In case a member NRK (Form 1B) deceases, one of his/her family members (as stated above in sub. Para (i)) is eligible for a maximum financial assistance of Rs. 30,000/- (Rupees Thirty thousand only)
A member NRK who is afflicted with critical illness is eligible for obtaining a maximum financial assistance of Rs. 50,000/- (Rupees Fifty thousand only) during the entire period of his/her membership. However, if he/she received any financial assistance for the same claim from Central or State Govt. or any other agencies like Norka Roots, Local Self Department etc, he/she is not eligible to get financial assistance from the Welfare Fund under this scheme.
The Welfare Fund Board is competent to implement subject to sufficiency of funds, a scheme to provide assistance in the event of accidental deaths and for medical treatment of members in association with one of the Nationalized Insurance Companies. For implementation of this scheme prior sanction of the Govt. is necessary.
Those member NRKs who have continuously contributed to the Fund at least for a period of three years shall be eligible to get a financial assistance of Rs. 5000/- (Rupees Five Thousand only) towards marriage expenses for marriage of his/ her two daughters subject to the following conditions.
a) The financial assistance shall be payable to the member for a maximum of two times.
b) Only one member NRK of the family (if the others are also members of the Fund) is eligible for the financial assistance for this purpose.
(i) Those female members who have remitted contributions continuously for two years are eligible for a financial assistance of Rs. 3000/- (Rupees Three thousand only) for meeting their maternity expenses.
(ii) In the case of abortions, they are eligible for a maximum financial assistance of Rs. 2000/- (Rupees Two thousand only). Maternity Assistance including abortion shall be payable for two times for the whole membership period.
The children of member NRKs who have continuously remitted the contributions for a minimum period of two years are eligible for educational grant for higher studies. The educational courses eligible for grant range from ITI/ITC/Degree to Post Graduate professional courses.
According to the Act, a ‘Relief Fund’ has to be created by the Board for the payment of Loans to the members. After creating the relief fund, the Board may decide to pay housing loans to the members who have remitted contributions continuously for a minimum period of five years, for construction of houses, purchase of land with building, purchase of land for construction of house, maintenance of existing building, etc. The Board may also decide whether such loans may be sanctioned with or without carrying interest. Similarly, from the ‘Relief Fund’ so created, a repatriated member who remitted contributions continuously for a minimum period of three years shall be eligible for obtaining interest- free loans from that Fund, for self employment purposes. The amount of loan and other modalities for payment of loans shall be fixed by the Board from time to time.
Those members who obtained housing loans / self employment loans from any other schemes shall not be eligible for any of the loans under this scheme.
In addition to the above Welfare Schemes sanctioned by Govt., the Board shall be responsible for implementation of certain other schemes (as mentioned below) to those Non-Resident Keralites who could not become member of the Fund due to age restriction of fifty five years as fixed by the Act, as and when those schemes are sanctioned by Government.
i) Medical treatment assistance up to a maximum of Rs. 10,000/- (Rupees Ten thousand only) for common diseases and up to 25,000/- (Rupees Twenty Five thousand only) for treatment of critical illness.
ii) Old age Assistance (in lump or by pension) as decided by the Board.
iii) In the event of death of a Non-Resident Keralite who has not completed the age of sixty years and also not a member of the Fund, the dependents of the person shall be eligible for obtaining a financial assistance of a maximum of Rs.10,000/-( Rupees Ten thousand only).