Saudi Arabia agrees to help thousands of stranded Indians

Riyadh, Aug. 4 : The Saudi Arabian Government has agreed to swiftly resolve the plight of thousands of laid-off Indian worker which includes providing them free passage to return to India and clearing their unpaid dues.

Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh yesterday held extensive talks with Saudi Labour Minister Mufrej Al Haqbani in Riyadh. Singh said things were not as bad as it was projected, adding that they were in touch with officials of Government of Saudi Arabia.

"The problem was only with one company. The Government of Saudi Arabia took measures to ensure that people working in that company are taken care of.

Who want to go back can do so at the expense of Government of Saudi Arabia, they can file claims. The people can transfer to other companies," he said. Al Haqbani promised urgent action to resolve the difficulties being faced by around 7,000 Indians, most of whom are living in camps after losing their jobs due to economic slowdown in the oil-rich Gulf country.

The Saudi Government also agreed to allow transfer of Indian employees, who have lost their jobs, to any other company within the country.

Singh arrived in Saudi Arabia yesterday to assess the situation and finalise modalities to bring back the stranded Indian workers who even do not have money to buy food.

He said that the Saudi Government has taken immediate actions to ensure that all camps, where Indian workers were staying, are provided facilities like medical, food, hygiene and sanitation.

Source: ANI