Thiruvananthapuram: Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala on Wednesday said that mandating PPE kits for returning expats was a move for the Kerala government to save its face.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits are being distributed by various organisations for free. The government decided on PPE kits after strong protests from the Opposition and resentment of expats. But the government is unable to accept it and is mandating PPE kits to save its face, he said.
The Congress leader alleged that from the beginning, the state government has been functioning with a mentality that expats should not return to Kerala.
Today’s cabinet decision shows that all the previous decisions form the government in this regard were wrong. Regarding the returning expats, the government failed to show the care and vigil it should have while taking a decision.
300 Keralites succumbed to COVID-19 in the gulf regions. Had the government been more careful, many lives could have been saved, Chennithala added.
The state government did not even take steps to operate Vande Bharat Mission flights properly. Neither did it inform the centre of the shortcomings nor did it seek more flights.
The opposition had pointed out that each country has different rules and that decisions must be taken in accordance to them. However, the Kerala government did not pay heed to it and put forward demands such as COVID-19 negative certificate, TrueNat testing and special flights.
The demands for TrueNat tests and special flights were dismissed by the central government, Chennithala said. He also alleged that during each time, the Kerala government deliberately changed its demands.
The expats are facing many problems. The state government had announced Rs 5,000 each for the expats. How many expats were given this financial assistance, he questioned. Now, the government is seeking special certificates for this purpose, the Congress leader added.