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Updated: March 29, 2013 23:55 IST

We’re constantly monitoring situation in Saudi: Vayalar Ravi

J. Balaji
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‘Nitaqat yet to be enforced; Indians know ground situation’

Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi on Friday said the Indian government was constantly monitoring the situation in Saudi Arabia through its embassy in Riyadh in view of the Kingdom’s proposed implementation of the “Nitaqat” (naturalisation) programme in its employment sector.

The Saudi Labour Ministry’s law seeks to make it mandatory for the private employment sector — comprising small and medium enterprises — to reserve 10 per cent of their jobs for locals.

Quoting a Malayalam daily, Mr. Ravi told The Hindu that the Saudi authorities were yet to enforce the programme; unnecessary panic and anxiety had been created among the Indian expatriates. The Indian workers there had been informed of the ground situation. “As per the new policy of that government, for every 10 workers at least one Saudi national should be given employment,” Mr. Ravi said.

While the deadline for the law’s implementation had ended on Wednesday, local authorities were yet to begin the process of verification in establishments there.

Sources here said the Indian embassy had been asked to provide all information and support to the Indian workers. The Indian community is the largest workforce in the Kingdom and as many as 20 lakh of them are employed there with a sizeable number belonging to Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.

According to reports, of the approximately 2.5 crore Indians working abroad, those in the Gulf countries number as high as 60 lakh. Even among these Middle Eastern expatriates, 48 per cent are employed in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait alone.

This is not a new programme, having been announced by the Kingdom as early as June 2011.

Those working in mid-level jobs — such as managers, administrative assistants, receptionists, accountants, typists, marketing executives, hotel and sales staff, drivers, clerks, teachers, secretaries, telephone and computer operators — are expected to be affected by the programme.

There may not be much problem to those like construction workers, plumbers, fitters, electricians, cleaners, maids, security guards or top level positions like information texperts, general/deputy general managers, chartered accountants. While locals don’t necessarily prefer lower-level jobs, Saudi education is not so advanced as to enable them to get higher-level jobs.

The Nitaqat law is not applicable to those firms/industries which employed less than 10 workers.

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It is a shame and an admission of failure that Indian ministers are clamoring for allowing Indians to work in foreign country.

The job of the govt is to provide adequate livelihood conditions in India and not to throw its citizens into another country. If India and its states want respect, they must be work on their own.

from:  Abhinav
Posted on: Mar 30, 2013 at 12:36 IST

What is there for Vayalar Ravi and Oommen Chandy to "constantly monitor" the pace of implementation of the Saudi decision to force all employers in that country to employ at least 10% of the work force from Saudi citizens ? What is indeed pathetic is the years of complacency that has led to the present panic at the prospect of several thousand Indians (mostly Keralites) being forced to return to India and exacerbate the already high unemployment level in that State. None of the Governments in Kerala or at the Centre believed that these "expatriate" workers would ever return to India, worse, forced to return to India. Remittances sent by these workers over the last 30 years were never used to invest in assets to generate income. Instead the recipients splurged in conspicuous consumption. Even in small villages of Kerala one can see palatial houses, innumerable jewelry shops and showrooms for cars and household appliances. Kerala should plan to train these returning workers in new skills

from:  Espad
Posted on: Mar 30, 2013 at 10:11 IST

How long is India going to depend upon other countries to employ its
nationals? The Saudis want to hire more of their own people, something
that any country would want to do. Instead of lurching from crisis to
crisis over every decision that another country makes based upon its own
internal compulsions, India needs to see how it can promote employment
in India itself for its own citizens.

from:  Mehul Kamdar
Posted on: Mar 30, 2013 at 07:27 IST

Mr.Chandy should equally demand that workers from any region should have
the right to work in any other region of India. Presently ,while we
demand that Saudi should abandon its policy of making its people to have
the right to employment [ one Saudi at least for 10 other nationals ]
,in our own country even meritorious students are denied admissions in
othe States under Merit quota in Government and aided educational
Institutions for Higher Studies ]

from:  Prof.R.Krishnamurthy
Posted on: Mar 30, 2013 at 07:00 IST
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