India on Saturday signed a bi-lateral labour mobility agreement with Malaysia aimed at improving the recruitment, employment conditions of workers and promote legal migration.
With the agreement, both countries hope to reduce the activities of unscrupulous recruitment agents and provide workers a fair deal as far as working terms and conditions and promises about compensations are concerned.
Currently there are officially 1.5 million Indian workers in Malaysia.
"With this agreement, we hope to improve the conditions of the existing workers and bring them under the prevailing labour laws and social security net of the country," said Malaysia's minister for Human Resource S Subramanian.
Describing the agreement as a major milestone, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) Vyalar Ravi hoped that the agreement will bring to fore a mechanism to facilitate recruitment and employment for Indians in Malaysia.
"There is scope for enhancing pre-departure and orientation training for workers also in the agreement. The agreement will also check unscrupulous agents," said Ravi.
A Joint Working Group consisting of six members from both countries will also be constituted to review and set the administrative framework of the agreement in days to come.
The Joint Working Group and a ministerial committee will meet periodically every year.
Negotiations for the agreement were pursued by both the countries and were finalised during the fourth Joint Commission meeting during February last year at New Delhi.
"We will allow orderly recruitment of workers between India and Malaysia based on these mutually-accepted principles," Subramanian said, adding that the existing labour laws in Malaysia does not differentiate between Malaysian and Indian workers.