An estimated 5 million Indian Nationals with ECR (Emigration Check Required) passports are working on temporary employment/contract visas in the Gulf Countries.
It is observed that a majority of the earnings periodically remitted by overseas Indian workers to their families in India are rarely accumulated as savings and often cause only a temporary improvement in the consumption expenditure of their families. As a result majority of overseas Indian workers face the risk of poverty when they return to India and when they are too old to work. Overseas Indian workers are largely excluded from formal social security benefits available to residents of ECR countries.
Overseas Indian workers are largely excluded from formal social security benefits available to residents of ECR countries.
Thus, to provide them social security, the Ministry has launched Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana(MGPSY) in May 2012. The objective of MGPSY is to encourage and enable overseas Indian workers having Emigration Check Required (ECR) passports going to ECR countries, to (a) save for their return and resettlement and (b) save for their pension. They are also provided Life Insurance cover against natural death, during the period of coverage, without any additional payment by them.
Overseas Indian workers with ECR passports and aged between 18 and 50 years on an employment/contract visa are eligible to join the scheme.
The Ministry also contributes, for a period of five years, or till the return of workers to India, whichever is earlier, as under:
a) Rs.1,000 per subscriber who saves between Rs.1,000 and Rs.12,000 per annum in their National Pension Scheme(NPS) -Lite account; b) An additional contribution of Rs.1,000 per annum for overseas Indian women workers who save between Rs.1,000 and Rs.12,000 per annum in National Pension Scheme(NPS)-Lite account; c) An annual contribution of Rs. 900 per annum per subscriber who saves at least Rs. 4000 per annum towards Return and Resettlement fund; d) Rs.100/- for life insurance cover of Rs.30,000 per year against natural death and Rs.75,000 against death by accident through the Janshree Bima Yojana of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).
There is an integrated enrollment process for the subscribers who will be issued a unique MGPSY account number upon enrolment. On their return to India, the subscriber can withdraw the Return and Resettlement savings as a lump sum.
However, the subscriber would be able to continue savings for their old age in the NPS-Lite in line with the Swavalamban Scheme. Alternatively subscriber can withdraw pension corpus as per the guidelines prescribed by the Pension Fund Regulatory Development Authority (PFRDA).
What is ECR:
As per the Emigration Act, 1983, Emigration Check Required (ECR) categories of Indian passport holders, require to obtain “Emigration Clearance” from the office of Protector of Emigrants (POE), Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs for going to following 18 countries.
United Arab Emirates (UAE), The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Malaysia, Libya, Jordan, Yemen, Sudan, Brunei, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Syria, Lebanon, Thailand, Iraq (emigration banned).
However , the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (Emigration Policy Division) have allowed ECR passport holders traveling abroad for purposes others than employment to leave the country on production of valid passport, valid visa and return ticket at the immigration counters at international airports in India w.e.f. 1st October 2007.