Tuesday, Aug 09, 2022

Covid Dries Up Kerala’s Petro-Dollar Pipeline From Gulf

Critically dependant on remittances from the Gulf, Kerala’s economy is staring at an abyss after lakhs returned home following Covid lockdowns

Sharjah Photograph: Getty Images

Ajeesh P.P., a 36-year-old Indian, ret­urned home from Oman in September 2020 after losing his job. His Arab employer had to shut down his upholstery workshop due to Covid-19 lockdowns and funds crunch, which resulted in job loss for Ajeesh and a couple of his colleagues.

Ajeesh, who had worked for 14 continuous yea­­rs in Oman, would be paid Rs 49k a mon­th. He was supposed to receive around Rs 3 lakh, including various dues as end-­of-service benefits. Instead, he only got Rs 99k, including his September salary. Since his return, Ajeesh’s life in Kerala is stuck.