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India and Kuwait give final touches to labour welfare pact

The MoU is likely to include a clause to bring the Indian workers under the purview of Kuwait's ministry of social affairs and labour.

world Updated: Apr 09, 2007 14:29 IST

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Kuwait and India on labour, employment and manpower development have reached the final stage, says Minister for Overseas Indian Affair Vayalar Ravi.

Ravi, who arrived in Kuwait on Saturday on a four-day visit, met the Minister of Social Affairs and Labour, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah.

"The talks have been very fruitful. A framework on the MoU has already been established. But certain finer points have to be discussed in detail before signing the agreement," Ravi told the Kuwait Times.

Kuwait is home to around 500,000 Indian expatriates, many of who work as contract labourers.

Once implemented, the labour agreement promises to streamline the Indian labour force in Kuwait and safeguard the rights of the Indian workers. The MoU is likely to include a clause to bring the Indian workers under the purview of Kuwait's ministry of social affairs and labour, which is governed by the immigration rules of the interior ministry.

"Recruitment agencies will be closely monitored and illegal agents will be prosecuted. A performance report will be made and accountability will be fixed. Heavy penalties will also be imposed on the erring agents in addition to the compulsory punishments," Ravi said.

India had signed a similar labour agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Agreements with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman are also expected to be reached shortly.