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'Over 81,000 Indians deported from the Gulf this year'
November 29, 2007 16:02 IST
Over 81,000 Indians were deported from the Gulf this year on various grounds, including non-possession of visas, resident permits and violation of local laws, the government said on Thursday.
Most Indian workers were deported from the United Arab Emirates, followed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, figures tabled in the Rajya Sabha by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs showed.
According to government, the UAE has deported or issued emergency certificates to 40,088 workers, while Saudi Arabia has taken action against 28,904 illegal migrants and Kuwait 8,234.
Other West Asian countries which deported Indian workers are Qatar (2,050), Bahrain (1,481) and Oman (1,086).
Giving the figures, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said Indian missions regularly take up the matter with local authorities for either regularising the stay of Indian workers or organising their smooth deportation.
"Further the complaints of ill-treatment, harassment, breach of contracts received from Indian workers are also taken up by the missions with sponsors, labour department and police authorities," he said.
Indian missions in Gulf countries have received 1,865 complaints from female workers while the Ministry has received 42 complaints regarding cheating, ill-treatment and non-payment or less payment of salary.
Majority of the complaints were from UAE (514), while the least reported from Oman (110).
For protection and welfare of female workers, Ravi said, the Ministry has decided not to grant emigration clearance certificates to women below 30 years if they are seeking job as housemaids in any foreign country.
"It has also been made mandatory that the work contracts of women household service workers will be duly attested by Indian missions before they are given emigration clearance," he said.
Other measures, include providing counselling and round-the-clock helpline services to housemaids and organising quarterly open house meetings to hear their concerns, the Minister told the Upper House.
"The Indian missions in the Gulf have also been asked to notify a minimum wage for women household service workers," he said.
Over 6,76,000 Indian workers, majority of them from Kerala [Images] and Tamil Nadu, flew to Gulf countries last year in search of jobs.
Out of the 6,76,912 Indians, who flew to various West Asian countries, 6,51,893 are skilled workers, the ministry said.
To a separate question, Ravi said the Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry is launching a pre-departure orientation and skill upgradation programme for the benefit of emigrant workers.
"The proposed scheme envisages training of 1.6 lakh potential emigrants at a per capita cost of Rs 5,000 over a period of five years (2007-2012)," he added.