Legal counselling for Gulf Indians

India has made budgetary provisions for legal counselling to affected Indian workers in Gulf nations.

india Updated: May 11, 2006 16:31 IST

Concerned over increasing labour law violations by companies in the Gulf, India has made higher budgetary provisions for legal counselling to affected Indian workers in these countries.

"This new concession will be given to Indian workers beginning this month and will be in the form of once-a-month two-hour sessions open to all Indians," Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said.

"However, the problem will be solved if action is taken on both ends. This is what I am trying to impress upon Gulf governments. Bahrain and the UAE are already moving in this direction.

That is why I said in the Saudi media that the new labour law is a great thing. It is labour-friendly. It is a very important development," Ravi told 'Arab News' in an interview.

The minister also said companies recruiting workers fraudulently in India would be punished.

Stressing that his ministry's first priority is the Gulf region because of the large number of Indians working there, Ravi said the scenario here is totally different from that in the US or the West.

"The problems of Indians here are different from those in the West. My government attaches a great deal of importance to the region.

I had a meeting with eight ambassadors in Doha (the Qatar capital) recently and we discussed in detail different issues. I am here to get a firsthand impression of problems facing the large Indian community in Saudi Arabia."

Ravi who visited three Gulf countries - Bahrain, the UAE and Saudi Arabia - met Indian community members and local officials there. He also met the Bahrain Crown prince and the UAE labour minister.

First Published: May 11, 2006 16:26 IST