Jeddah: Delegation from KNRI Forum meets former CM Siddaramaiah

Media Release

Jeddah, Aug 5: A high level delegation representing the non-residents of Karnataka origin from Karnataka NRI Forum met Siddaramaiah, former chief minister and the current chairman of the coordination committee, government of Karnataka.

The delegation was led by Mohammed Saifuddin Sami, president, Karnataka NRI Forum Jeddah. The delegation also included Peter Ronald Mascarenhas, general secretary Jalal Baig, joint secretary, Faizee Razak Shaikh, executive committee member, Shakeel Ahmed, former cultural secretary. They presented a memorandum to the former chief
minister and narrated the key burning issues facing the people of Karnataka origin in Saudi Arabia. They also requested during the meeting to use his good offices in reinstating Arathi Krishna as the deputy chairperson of the Karnataka NRI Forum in Bengaluru as she has taken many initiatives for the betterment of NRIs of Karnataka origin. The former chief minister not only gave a patient hearing, but also promised to take up these issues with the chief minister H D Kumaraswamy.

Subsequently the delegation met Tanveer Ahmed, spokesperson, JD(S) seeking his intervention and support in arranging a meeting with the chief minister which he agreed. The delegation may get a chance to meet the chief minister within a week. The detail issues included in the memorandum are given below.

1. Even though Kannadiga student study in CBSE affiliated schools, when they pass out grade 12 examination and come back to India, they are not allowed to appear CET examination in Karnataka. They are not treated on par with other residents of Karnataka. As a result, they are forced to pay huge capitation fee, even though most of these people are semiskilled and unskilled and belong to low and medium income group.

2. Due to the new tax policy and Saudization in Saudi Arabia, thousands of Kannadigas have returned and are returning from Saudi Arabia. However, when they come back, they face problems of jobs, health care, housing and education. They need to be provided with facilities such as, special insurance, loan facilities, housing facilities and educational scholarships.

3. There is a large number expatriate population from Karnataka in the Western and Central Region of Saudi Arabia. Even though there is a direct flight service from other Middle East countries to Mangaluru, there is no direct flight service from Riyadh and Jeddah to Mangalore. This is long pending demand and needs to be addressed at the earliest.

4. Continue the process of creation of a Database bank of ‘Non-Resident Indians of Karnataka origin’ and innovative ‘Karnataka NRK Card’.

5. Create a mobile App for easier access.

6. Support KNRI Forum – Saudi Arabia in organizing various cultural, literary and promotional events in Saudi Arabia and charity events back in Karnataka.

7. Assist Non-Resident Indians in Saudi Arabia in their investment initiatives in Karnataka.

8. Karnataka has great potential in the areas of exciting tourism, quality healthcare services and professional educational opportunities for other nationals. For the state cooperation with the Gulf, there are opportunities in infrastructure development, IT and BT sector, scientific research, besides pursuits in various other sectors. KNRI Forum Saudi Arabia would like to promote these opportunities in Saudi Arabia and take this to the next level.

9. Currently we are facing lot of problems in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ranging from labor issues to social issues, we require an efficient leadership to tackle them.

10. To take care of the NRI issues of Kannadigas, we need a nodal officer in the capacity of Deputy Chairman of Karnataka NRI Forum at Bangalore. We request your good self to kindly look into the matter and re-appoint Dr Arathi Krishna as the deputy chairperson of ‘Karnataka NRI Forum’ in order to achieve its goals and implement the initiatives taken by her in the best interest of overseas Kannadigas and Karnataka.