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Updated: October 29, 2009 16:12 IST

Need to protect Indians in UAE from facing visa-related problems

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Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, Vayalar Ravi Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, Vayalar Ravi Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) need to ensure protection of Indian working-class people in the Gulf country who face problems when their visas are not renewed, a top Central Government Minister said.

"We need to ensure protection of working-class people in the UAE. Employers sometimes deliberately delay visa renewal of Indian workers thus making them illegal occupants in that country. This issue needs to be addressed effectively in the interest of both the workers and the employers," Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, Vayalar Ravi, said.

He was speaking at the Dubai International Financial Centre Conference, here on Thursday said that the Labour Department of the UAE Government was very co-operative and looked into specific instances to protect Indian workers in trouble in the UAE.

The Minister invited investments from the Gulf country, especially in sectors such as infrastructure and energy security in India.

Over the next 3-4-years, the projected requirement of investment in India comes to USD 149-billion in the areas of power, roads, ports, airports, telecom, and petroleum, and natural gas.

30 per cent of this investment in infrastructure will come from private players through the PPP model, Mr. Ravi said.

India has targeted a power generation capacity of over 78,000 MW by 2012, construction of 1,30,000 km of rural roads and renewal of 1,78,000 km of existing roads and highways, Mr. Ravi said.

"Investors from the UAE can look at investing further in infrastructure and energy security of India," he said.

The Union Minister also sought greater investment from Indian and foreign companies in social infrastructure like education and healthcare.

Lot of NRIs were investing in setting up hospitals and medical infrastructure in the country, the minister said.

"India is improving the quality and quantity of health and education in the 11th Five-Year Plan. We are looking at increased investment through the PPP model. The spend on health is projected to improve at 5.8 per cent annually over the next 4-years resulting in an investment of USD 14.2-billion," Mr. Ravi said.

India has not been affected by the global meltdown and continues to remain the best destination for foreign investors who would be rewarded by higher returns, he said.

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