Setting up of high-level joint working group on labour

Minister for Non-resident Keralites’ Affairs K.C. Joseph said here on Monday that the formation of a high-level joint working group on labour following discussions held by an Indian delegation with the Saudi government would be the first step towards addressing problems caused by the Nitaqat law in Saudi Arabia.

Welcoming the outcome of the discussions, the Minister said the Saudi authorities had promised that they would assist those declared ‘Hurubai’ under the law to return to India through legal channels. With the signing of the proposed memorandum of understanding with the kingdom, it would be possible to end unauthorised recruitments and exploitation by sponsors.

Mr. Joseph said that persons staying in Saudi Arabia without proper authorisation could get three months’ time to complete procedures for making their stay legal. The discussions had helped to address concerns and find satisfactory solutions to issues.

He said none should forget that the Saudi government had sovereign rights to regulate matters in their country. All should understand the limitations of India in intervening in the matter. Any steps to address issues could be taken only in consultation with the Saudi authorities.