Centre has come to rescue of stranded Pbi workers in Saudia Arabia – Harsimrat Badal
Union food processing industries minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal today said the central government had provided much needed aid to 3,000 Indian workers, including 1,000 Punjabis, languishing in Saudia Arabia without passports and visas by providing them return tickets for India besides facilitating their transfer to other employees.
Disclosing this here, Mrs Harsimrat Badal said she had received a letter in this regard from union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. She said Ms Swaraj had also assured that the Indian Mission in Riyadh was visiting the 13 construction camps in which the workers were stationed and would ensure their well being, particularly access to medical attention if needed.
Mrs Badal had earlier taken up this issue with the external affairs ministry had brought it to Ms Swaraj’s notice that around one thousand Punjabis were stranded in Saudia Arabia after their employers had stopped paying their salaries. The visas of these employees had also expired along with their residence permits.
Mrs. Badal said the external affairs minister had informed her that the workers had been hired by one of the biggest construction companies in Saudia Arabia which had to close shop due to financial losses. The union minister said Ms Swaraj also informed that she had spoken to all concerned Saudi authorities including the country’s foreign minister and that the Indian Mission was in contact with concerned company officials with the objective to ensuring pending salaries were disbursed to workers. She said the Indian authorities were also making efforts to ensure the residential permits of all workers were renewed so that they could continue to work in Saudia Arabia if they so wished. She said arrangements had also been made to give return tickets to all workers who desired to come back to India.
Mrs. Badal thanked the union external affairs ministry and Ms Swaraj for taking prompt action to safeguard the interest of the Indian workers. She said the issue had been resolved due to the pro active approach of Ms Swaraj and thanked her resolving it to everyone’s satisfaction following the appeal made by her. EOM