Jeddah, Aug 5 (IANS) All Indian workers rendered jobless in Saudi Arabia due to the closure of a leading construction company will be able to receive their pending arrears, Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh assured the distressed workers on Friday.
The Minister, who visited a workers’ camp in Jeddah on Friday evening, said the workers will be able to receive their pending arrears from the company while in Saudi Arabia or upon their return to India.
He also said that India and Saudi Arabia were both committed to addressing the issue at the earliest and both sides were working very closely to formulate a mechanism under which all issues of the stranded Indian workers will be dealt with.
The Indian government is sincerely committed to the welfare of its workers abroad and that is the reason he is visiting the Saudi Kingdom, Singh told them. He also hailed King Salman’s swift action in this regard.
Singh visited the workers’ camp located in a posh locality in the port city of Jeddah accompanied by senior Saudi Labour Ministry official Abdullah Al Olayan and Indian Ambassador Ahmed Javed and interacted with the workers.
“The pending wages or other arrears, Iqama (residency visa) validity and switching to other employers and also facilitation of willing return of workers are the main subjects which both countries are working out,” the minister told the workers.
Singh declined to specify the time line to workers, stating that it involves multiple processes. But he assured them that their rights would be protected and safeguarded.
To a question, he said their food supplies would be continued as of now from the same sources, in apparent reference to the Saudi Labour Ministry that is feeding the workers.
The minister told the workers that state governments have to play a crucial role in rehabilitation measures for the returning workers, after some workers drew his attention about their future upon returning home.
Earlier, the workers greeted the minister with slogans of “V.K. Singh Zindabad”, and also when he was leaving.
(Irfan Mohammed is a Jeddah-based freelance journalist. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)