In Saudi Arabia, ‘Nitaqat’ was implemented in order to streamline their labour market and identifying illegal workers. As per figures received from Saudi Arabia, more than 14 lakh(1.4 million) corrected their status and remained in Saudi Arabia. About more than 1,40,000 left for India without facing any penal action in Saudi Arabia. Most of these workers were staying illegally and returned with the help of Emergency Certificate (EC) issued by the Embassy. It is reported by the Embassy of India,is Saudi Arabia that the number of Indians in Saudi Arabia has increased during the Nitaqat/grace period. Hence, it may be stated that Nitaqat has not adversely affected Indian workers.
A statement showing state-wise break-up of ECs (as on January, 2014) issued by the Indian Embassy is as follows:
<span “arial”,”sans-serif”`=””> ANNEXURE
|Sl. No.||State||Embassy of India, Riyadh||Consulate General of India, Jeddah|
|ECs issued||ECs issued|
|12||Jammu & Kashmir||191||1088|
The Government of India and Embassy of India in Saudi Arabia had regular engagement with Saudi Arabia including a Ministerial level delegation and was followed up by the Minister of External Affairs to Saudi Arabia. Our Ambassador regularly met the concerned Ministers and Governors in the Kingdom. A Joint Committee was also established to discuss all issues of welfare of Indians in Saudi Arabia which met regularly.
The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs had called meetings of Ministries/ representatives of major labour sending States twice, the first on 09-04-2013 and the second on 25-06-2013. The State Governments were requested to formulate rehabilitation programmes for returnees from the Gulf, using existing State and Central Government programmes /schemes.
This information was given by Minister of State Overseas Indian Affairs General (Retd.) V.K. Singh in Lok Sabha Today.