Around 5,200 NRIs of Goan origin want to return to India: Goa NRI Commission

Panaji (Goa) [India], May 19 (ANI): Around 5,200 NRIs of Goan origin, stranded across the world, want to return back to India in the backdrop of COVID-19 crisis, said Goa Commissioner for NRI Affairs Narendra Sawaikar on Monday.

"When the COVID-19 crisis started, few Goan origin people who are living abroad started contacting us for getting back to the country. We contacted the embassies in the countries where the Goan origin people are settled and also the central government," Sawaikar told ANI.

"The Goa NRI Commission has made a portal where 5,200 stranded Goans have registered for returning. This data has been shared with the central government and the embassies so that the stranded Goans could come back," he added.

He said that according to his estimate the registered NRIs amount to around 25 percent of the total Goan expatriates and they are returning due to insecurities.

"Some of the Goan NRIs have lost their jobs and some are working on 50 percent salary. 25 percent of the Goans abroad want to return to Goa because of job insecurity. There are some elderly citizens and students who are stranded and who want to return. Our effort is that the Goan NRIs could be evacuated/repatriated with the help of Vande Bharat Mission of the central government," he said.

Regarding stranded seafarers of the state, Sawaikar said: "Seafarer data is with DG Shipping. Around 8,200 seafarers are out of Goa. Some have returned. Those who want to return, there are efforts to bring them back. Home Ministry has permitted the return of seafarers stuck in Italy. The people will come in a staggered manner."

Sawaikar said that around 1,200 Portuguese nationals want to return to Goa, but it is up to the central government to decide on the issue. (ANI)