There is no cause for worry over potential job losses among Indians employed in the Gulf following the the multi-billion-dollar debt default risk faced by Dubai World, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said on Saturday.
"There is no need to panic," the minister told IANS over the phone from Chennai, adding: "I have feedback from our consulate general in Dubai and our embassies there. We are not expecting any kind of exodus of Indian workers to India."
According to Ravi, there was some impact in the Gulf region at the beginning of the meltdown last year but the situation had changed since then.
"I even announced this in parliament. About 100,000 Indian workers had returned from Dubai at that time. But many of them have gone back now," the minister pointed out.
"India won't be affected by Dubai’s debts."
The state-run Dubai World stunned the global financial world Thursday when it announced it would need to restructure its debt, estimated at $59 billion, to pre-empt default and asked creditors for a six-month deferment.
The conglomerate has a host of companies under its fold with interests in a wide range of businesses such as realty, infrastructure, logistics and economic zones. It operates not just in the region but across a clutch of countries, including India.
The total debt of Dubai as an emirate is estimated at $80 billion.
There were some concerns in India among the families of expatriate Indians working in the Gulf since the region accounts for nearly half of the country's inward remittances worth $25 million annually.
An estimated five million Indians work in the region.
But key policy-makers like Ravi, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and Reserve Bank of Governor D. Subbarao have sought to calm the nervous, saying the impact on the Indian economy will be negligible.