NEW DELHI: The prospect of loss of revenue has got Andhra Pradesh government worrying since the Union government has proposed a ban on women who migrate to Gulf countries in search for jobs. The proposal comes in the way of revenue earning in the form of foreign exchange remittances for the state, which it risks losing if former comes into effect.

Overseas Manpower Company Andhra Pradesh (OMCAP), a government organization which helps people get recruited overseas, has approximated the loss to state to the tune of Rs 500 crore per month in case of a sweeping ban on women going to Gulf.

According to K.V. Swamy, General Manager, OMCAP, around half a million women are employed in the Gulf countries, most of them as housemaids. The total number of migrants employed there is estimated to be at 8 lakh.

“Every year nearly 30,000-40,000 housemaids go to the Gulf. Of them, 60-70 per cent are from Kadapa and East and West Godavari districts. A sudden ban will result in a spurt in return migration. We cannot find jobs for that many workers here,” Mr. Swamy said to The Hindu.

OMCAP works as an alternative to private agents. It aids people in arranging visas and other documents which help them go abroad primarily Gulf and Malaysia against a certain sum.

In a recent meeting called upon by the Centre to elicit views from state governments, the AP government was represented by Minister Ravela Kishore Babu, where he had suggested that the ban rather be brought in a piecemeal fashion than summarily.

The Central government has swung into action on the migrant issue after the incident where a migrant worker named Kasthuri Munirathinam from Tamil Nadu was subjected to a barbaric amputation by her employers in Saudi Arabia. The 58 year old woman’s right arm was chopped by her employer while she was trying to escape.

This is not a lone incident either since only a couple of months before two Nepalese women had accused her employers from Saudi Arabia of continually raping and torturing them for two months. The employer who was a diplomat posted in India had left the country immediately after making full use of his diplomatic immunity.