Procedure to be extended to other countries in West Asia: Ravi
The government has launched a Web-based procedure of attesting employment contracts of Indian workers in the United Arab Emirates to prevent exploitation by foreign employers.
The procedure is in place now, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said on Sunday, adding it would be formally inaugurated during his visit to Dubai next month.
The procedure would be extended to other countries in West Asia in due course, he told The Hindu here.
Now foreign employers could not change the terms of contracts on their own. The procedure would ensure that the same documents and job contracts were submitted to government authorities on both sides. The Indian missions in West Asia would attest the employment contracts with due procedures followed. This would help in enforcing contract conditions.
Mr. Ravi said the government was also considering merging Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) cards into a single facility. It was to simplify visa-free entry and participation of the Indian diaspora in business and other activities in the country.
He said his Ministry asked the State governments to open a separate department to attend to the problems of overseas Indians. “An active officer should be posted to head the department.”
Rough patch for civil aviation
To a question, Mr. Ravi, who is also Minister for Civil Aviation, said the sector was now going through a bad phase owing to high fuel prices. The State governments should either do away with their sales tax on fuel or reduce it.
The high cost of fuel and sales tax by the States burdened airlines.
He said cargo operations from the Mangalore airport would start soon. Passenger traffic there was expected to cross one million this year.
The government was pursuing a proposal to extend the runway.