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India signs MoU with Kuwait to protect workers

business Updated: Apr 11, 2007 17:12 IST
IANS
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India signs a labour pact with Kuwait to ease problems faced by its nationals working in that country.

The MoU is signed by Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi, who is currently touring the Middle East and Kuwait's Minister for Labour and Social Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid, according to an overseas Indian affairs ministry press release in the Capital on Wednesday.

"The MoU provides for further strengthening of cooperation between the two countries in the areas of labour, employment and manpower development," the release added.

"The details of the agreement will be worked out by a joint group between the two countries to discover ways and means of improving the conditions of the workers, including skills upgradation. The joint working group is likely to be set up later this year," said a ministry official.

The joint working group will meet in each other's country alternatively every six months.

"The pact provides a mechanism for settlement of labour disputes. It sets out various parameters governing the welfare of workers in the private sector in line with the laws and regulations of the host country," the release added.

The MoU also addresses issues related to protection and welfare of workers who are not covered under the Kuwait labour law.

Ravi has held extensive discussions with Kuwait's labour minister regarding issues related to the Indian workers in the oil-rich country.

The Indian minister met Amir of the state of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah, crown prince Shiekh Jaber Al Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabha and other senior leaders.

"The focus of the discussions was on the presence of the large Indian community in Kuwait and related issues. Bilateral, regional and international developments of mutual interest were also touched upon during the discussions," the official release said.

According to the release, the Kuwaiti leaders have appreciated the role and contribution of the Indian community there towards the country's welfare and development. "They said the Indian community, which was law-abiding, had the least number of crimes against its name."

After a four-day tour in Kuwait, Ravi has left for Doha, where he is expected to meet various ministers and representatives of Indian associations.

The minister will attend an open house at the MES Indian School on Friday where he will listen to problems faced by Indian workers. He is scheduled to return to India on Saturday.

There are at least 150,000 Indians in Qatar while Kuwait is home to 550,000 Indian expatriates, many of whom work as contract labourers.