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Indian Affected by New Labour Policy in Saudi Arabia

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:

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Sl. No. State Embassy of India, Riyadh Consulate General of India, Jeddah
ECs issued ECs issued
1. Uttar Pradesh 15462 11168
2. Andhra Pradesh 7839 816
3. Tamil Nadu 3944 860
4. West Bengal 3884 4511
5. Kerala 2935 1914
6. Bihar 2474 1155
7. Rajasthan 2395 326
8. Karnataka 865 351
9. Maharashtra 646 228
10 Assam 499 349
11 Punjab 433 195
12 Jammu & Kashmir 191 1088
13. Gujarat 182 144
14 Orissa 110 72
15 Jharkhand 126 57
16 Uttrakhand 124 41
17 Madhya Pradesh 107 62
18 Delhi 105 57
19 Haryana 64 17
26 Others 164 75
              Grand Total 42,549 23,486

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.