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COVID crisis: 5.5 lakh migrants who returned to Kerala lost their jobs

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 07: Amid the economic crisis induced by the coronavirus lockdown in the country, out of the 8.4 lakh migrants who have returned to Kerala from abroad since May last year, 5.5 lakh said they suffered a job loss, according to the Department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs data.

COVID crisis: 5.5 lakh migrants who returned to Kerala lost their jobs

Another big chunk of returnees, 2.08 lakh, stated that their job visas had expired or mentioned other reasons for their return. The rest include senior citizens, or children, and family members of expatriates.

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Notably, NRI remittances into Kerala grew around 30 per cent during lockdown.

However, Prof S Irudaya Rajan, an expert on international migration doesn't see a cause for alarm saying , "The actual figure of migrants in distress would be less... I think a section of them, it could be two-third of them, would explore new destinations for migration in the coming months. Already people have started returning.''

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    Kerala saw annual remittances of Rs 85,000 crore in 2018, and was expecting this to increase to Rs 1,00,000 crore in 2020. Rajan said there could be 10 to 15 per cent decline in remittances in the current fiscal.

    Kerala economy may be facing long-term impact, with remittances from abroad, mainly from West Asia.

    Rajan further said, "We have to wait another year to get a clear picture about the next trajectory of migration."

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