Dubai debt woes a concern for Kerala, says State Finance Minister

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Kochi, Nov 28 (ANI): In the wake of crisis in the Dubai World conglomerate, Thomas Isaac, the State Finance Minister said that Kerela would be the worst hit if construction activities in Dubai are affected.

Dubai World shocked the global financial world on Thursday, when it announced that it would need to restructure its debt, estimated at $59 billion, to pre-empt default and asked the creditors for a six-month deferment.

Sensex toppled on Friday and the bonds fell as Dubai's debt problems flashed concerns about corporate exposure and the risk of foreign investors.

"Suppose if the construction activities in Dubai is going to halt that will be a major calamity for Kerala because Malayalee (Malayalam) workers are concentrated in Dubai," said Issac.

The State Finance Minister further said that if the migrant workers return to Kerala, then certain measures would have to be taken to provide safety to them.

"If the construction activities in Gulf sharply disintegrates then it can happen that many of the construction workers who are employed there would like to return home. Malayales constitute the majority of the workers in Dubai so if they are going to come back in large number then we will have to take certain measures to provide safety net and so on. That's one. Secondly, there are many Dubai companies who are undertaking major investment work in Kerala like Kochin Port, the Transhipment Terminal or Smart City for IT sector. We are also concerned how these new development would affect the activity in Kerala," added Isaac.

However, he said that the State government would need the help of the Central government to provide safety to the migrant workers.

"It is very difficult for the government to handle it alone particularly the state government; central government will have to pitch in," said Isaac. (ANI)

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