The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) has called for a White Paper on migrant labour from the State in the context of the Nitaqat (naturalisation) policy adopted by Saudi Arabia.

Of the 28 lakh Indian workforce in Saudi Arabia, an estimated five lakh were from Tamil Nadu and hence the State should be ready to resettle them when they returned home, the IUML national general secretary, K. M. Kader Mohideen, said here on Tuesday.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Kader Mohideen said a large number of expatriate workers without valid work permits or travel documents had started to leave Saudi Arabia as the amnesty period for correcting labour and residency status for foreigners expired on November 3.

He drew the attention of the State government to the initiatives of Kerala in offsetting the impact of Nitaqat on workers, which included a package for resettlement and free air tickets for their repatriation. At this juncture, it was imperative to revive the Directorate of Migrant Workers formed by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government, he said. The government could also work out a pension scheme for migrant workers.

The IUML leader suggested that the State government could call for a general strike in support of the popular demand for boycott of the CHOGM in Sri Lanka as several parties and organisations had called for different forms of protest, which was bound to create confusion among the public.

While welcoming the decision of the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, to not to attend the meeting, Mr. Kader Mohideen said that India should remain unrepresented. The government should reconsider its decision to send External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to Sri Lanka, taking into consideration the sentiments of people of Tamil Nadu.

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