Kerala’s NORKA-Pravasi Startup scheme supports 4,179 startups

The Kerala government’s Non-Resident Keralite Affairs (NORKA)-led Pravasi start up scheme has created a start up climate with 4,179 expatriate entrepreneurs over the past five years.

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 12 (IANS) The Kerala government’s Non-Resident Keralite Affairs (NORKA)-led Pravasi startup scheme has created a startup climate with 4,179 expatriate entrepreneurs over the past five years.

The state government has sanctioned Rs 220.37 crores for the startup projects by Pravasis who have returned to the state after long years in foreign countries.

In the financial year 2019-20, 1,043 entrepreneurs were sanctioned Rs 53.40 crores. This scheme was envisaged as a joint venture between NORKA and the Kerala Startup Mission to create self-employment opportunities for Pravasis who return to the state from abroad and who are planning a new journey as entrepreneurs.

The objective of the scheme is to rehabilitate expatriates who can contribute to the economic development of the state according to their professional skills.

Kerala Bank, Canara Bank and the Travancore Pravasi Development Cooperative Society are some of the financial institutions which provide loans to the expatriates.

Loans up to Rs 30 lakhs with a capital subsidy of 15% (Subject to a maximum of Rs 3 lakhs), are available for startups by expatriates who have returned to the state after working for a minimum 2 years in a foreign country. The scheme also offers a 3% interest rebate for the first four years for those who pay the interest on time.

NORKA is conducting field camps for easier disbursal of loans and to make the loan procedure easier. The organization is focusing to provide loans in a single day. Seven camps were conducted during the 2019-20 financial year and about 500 expatriates benefitted from these camps.

NORKA chairman and senior leader of CPM, K Varadarajan, while speaking to mediapersons, said “Since the LDF government came to power, this government has distributed 45.21 crores as subsidy to 2,895 entrepreneurs till November 2020”.

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