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New law to regulate foreign labour in Gulf

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The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will soon pass a law regulating foreign labour in its member countries, amid concerns in India and other nations over a similar law passed by Saudi Arabia that seeks to reserve jobs for locals.

The new law being mulled by the GCC would include returning ‘marginal’ and unskilled foreign workers to their home countries. The GCC is a six-member group with Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates (UAE) as its members. The council will also attempt to eliminate workers who claim skills that they do not possess. The plan is said to be under study, a leading official is quoted by the Arab News as saying.

‘‘There are responsible parties at the council looking for a mechanism to verify whether or not the expat worker does have the skill for which he or she was brought to the Gulf," Fawzi Al Majdali, secretary general of the programme for restructuring the labour force and the executive agency in Kuwait, said.

The new regulation would minimise unused labour who had no clear contracts with employers, he said. ‘‘Kuwait has recently said that it would cut down and send away 1,00,000 expat workers who are considered marginal in order to replace them with local labour,’’ he said. — PTI

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