Thiruvananthapuram: The NORKA Pravasi Startup Scheme has supported 4,179 expatriate entrepreneurs over the past five years. During this period, the Kerala government sanctioned Rs 220.37 crores for such start-up projects by Pravasis who have returned to the state.

In the last financial year itself (2019-20), 1,043 persons realised their entrepreneurial dreams using the Pravasi Startup Scheme and an amount of Rs 53.40 crores was sanctioned for this. This scheme is a joint venture between NORKA and the Kerala Startup Mission to create self-employment opportunities for Pravasies who return from abroad and wish to embark on a new journey here 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 Co-operative Society, are few of the 16 banks that provide loans to Pravasies. Loans up to Rs 30 lakhs with a capital subsidy of 15% (subject to a maximum of Rs 3 lakhs) are available for start-ups by those ex-pats who have returned to Kerala after working abroad for at least two years and now settled here. The scheme also offers a 3% interest rebate for the first four years for those who repay the interest on time.

NORKA has expanded its field camps to reach out to more people, to make the loan procedures easier and to make the loan processing in a single day. Seven camps were conducted during the 2019-20 financial year and about 500 pravasies have benefited from this. Since coming to power, this Government has disbursed Rs. 45.21 crores as a subsidy to 2,895 entrepreneurs till November 2020.

Interested Pravasies can check out for further details and apply for the scheme. Information is also available from Kerala Startup Mission on 08047180470, NORKA toll-free numbers 18004253939 (from India) & 00918802012345 (Missed Call Service from abroad) and on the website.