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Nationalization of Workforce in Gulf Countries and its Impact on Kerala Society

Mohammed Ashraf Cheethanapuravan
Ph.D Scholar
Centre for Applied Research
Gandhigram Rural Institute-Deemed to be University
Gnandhigram, Dindigul
Tamil Nadu

A. Balakrishnan

Professor
Centre for Applied Research
Gandhigram Rural Institute-Deemed to be University
Gnandhigram, Dindigul
Tamil Nadu

Abstract

The migration to Gulf countries has been a significant presence in all walks of Kerala people. Though the coastlines of Arabian peninsula and Kerala had been connected with the trade and cultural links before many centuries, the large scale economic migration of Keralaites to gulf counties started in 1960’s. The price hike of petroleum products created a huge demand of technology and workforce. Gulf countries have been falling short of the human resource to build up their new economy after the discovery of oil fields in 1950’s. When the required technological support was supplied by western countries the human capital was brought from south Asian countries. Kerala is the most benefited state in India which having a 2.4 million workforce in Gulf countries. The less employment opportunities and high educated population in the state geared up the rate of migration. Generations after generations followed the trend and they formed community there, which attracted newcomers. The effect of this phenomenon has been clearly visible in all spheres of Kerala society. Kerala depends on the money that the migrants send home. The remittances from them accounts for 35 percent of the state GDP. But the trends are going to change, the recent recession in the gulf sector due to the oil price crisis and nationalization move of work force have caused an expected return of huge number of Keralites from middle east especially from Saudi Arabia . With falling or low oil prices, economic standstill, varying degrees of expansion and exposure to non-oil sectors, increasing local populace, it is really no surprise that migrant workers are the first to get the boot. This paper is focusing on the causes and effects of the issue.

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