1 August 2016
India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Monday in New Delhi that plans were underway to take back some 10,000 of its workers who were rendered jobless in Saudi Arabia.
She told the parliament that government was arranging exit documents for those who wanted to return but could not pay for the flights.
Swaraj said that the workers were laid off by Saudi construction companies after the slowdown in the industry due to the fall in global crude oil prices.
“We cannot leave our workers in a crisis.
“I contacted the Saudi foreign office and labour office. We have asked their foreign offices to authorise us to bring them back from Saudi Arabia,’’ she said.
She also said the Indian government would ensure that the workers who had not been paid in many cases for as long as eight months get their dues.
“The Junior Foreign Minister, VK Singh will travel to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to meet with officials there.
Swaraj also said that Indians who lived in five workers complexes or camps in and around the city of Jeddah would be provided with food rations by the Indian government for the next week.
She noted, however, that more than 70 per cent of the three million Indians working in Saudi Arabia are blue-collar workers, employed mainly in the construction, oil and infrastructure sectors.