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India to ink MoU with Gulf countries

The decision has been taken in the wake of increasing cases of ill-treatment of Indian workers abroad.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2006 11:46 IST

In the wake of increasing cases of ill-treatment of its workers abroad, India has decided to sign Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with various Gulf countries and Malaysia to ensure welfare of the emigrants.

Taking a lead in efforts to protect the rights of migrant workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the government there has decided to amend its labour laws and provide smart cards to Indian workers which will contain all their details.

UAE has also agreed to set up a Joint Working Group to deal with problems relating to overseas Indian workers and to address their grievances.

"MoU on Labour and Employment is proposed to be negotiated and concluded with major labour receiving countries, including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar in the Gulf and Malaysia in South-East Asia," Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said.

The Ministry for Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) also proposes to create an Overseas Indian Welfare Fund, which will be deployed for various welfare measures for the benefit of the overseas Indian workers.

Ravi, who recently undertook a visit to Gulf countries in the wake of complaints of ill-treatment by Indian workers, said several reforms in emigration of workers needed to be taken immediately to address their problems.