India appreciates Saudi Arabia’s action for Indian workers

New Delhi, Aug 11 (IANS) India on Thursday appreciated Saudi Arabia’s prompt action to provide relief to Indian workers who were retrenched by a Saudi Arabian company.

“We appreciate the magnanimous view taken by the Saudi Arabian government of granting exit visas expeditiously and agreeing to bear the expenses for the travel of the workers,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in his weekly media briefing here.

“The swift action to tackle a localised problem specific only to some companies of Saudi Arabia signifies the deep and abiding relationship that our two countries share,” he said.

Following reports of retrenchment of the workers by the Saudi Oger company, Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh visited Saudi Arabia last week.

According to Swarup, Singh “had very productive meetings” with the Saudi Minister for Labour and Social Development Mufrel Al Haqbani and other senior dignitaries.

“As a result of these meetings, the process of lodging claims and making arrangements for those Indian workers wishing to come back to India or relocate to another company has already started,” the spokesperson said.

The crisis also saw Saudi King Salman issuing a series of directives to address their problems, and earmarking 100 million Saudi riyals ($26 million) to address the concerns of the workers and end their suffering.

King Salman also directed the Saudi passport department to facilitate exit visas and other procedures for the distressed workers.

Swarup said in his media briefing that the first batch of 26 Indian workers left Jeddah for New Delhi on Thursday by a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight.

“Once they arrive, respective state governments will be making arrangements for their travel to their home towns,” he added.

–IANS

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