Kerala to train and export health workers to boost remittances

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Thomas Issac, the finance minister of Kerala said that the state is planning to invest in training and exporting the health workers to capitalize on the remittance. This would also increase the demand for Kerala nurses and paramedics all over the world.

During pandemics like covid 19, the lack of investment in the public health system can enfeeble the national economy. As the World Bank evaluates a significant decrease in remittances globally due to the disruptions caused by the pandemics including job losses, the state has decided to invest in training the health workers.

Issac says, as the people are returning to their homes, they would bring back all their savings. He doesn’t see an instant decline in remittances though.

In past the state has gained from the vast population of expatriates sending money back home, helping drive economic and social gains such as nations’ highest literacy rate and the country’s highest sex ratio. The state accounted for about a fifth of some $80 billion sent home last year by Indians living abroad.

According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), an increase in the net invisible receipts benefited the nation in recording the current account balance at a rare surplus in the quarter ended March. Payments by Indians employed abroad and other private transfers increased 14.8% from a year ago to $20.6 billion during the period.

As the remittances fall, consumption will be affected badly. Construction activities and real estate will contract sharply and damped shortly. The state has announced several programs to rebuild its economy post-pandemic. These include enhancing technological infrastructure and providing funds and interest allowance to firms planning to relocate to the state. Through the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board, the government will also borrow 500 billion rupees ($6.7 billion) for the purpose while health expenditure is going to radically enlarge, Isaac said.

The study World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the number of institutes offering nursing and midwifery training more than doubled between 2005 and 2016. “There is an aggregate slump in total demand, and therefore common sense tells you that you borrow and spend so that demand picks up,” he said. “That’s the way out of recession.”

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