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Crisis related to Indians in Saudi resolved: Government
August 4, 2016, 4:31 pm

 The crisis related to joblessness of hundreds of Indians in Saudi Arabia has been resolved "satisfactorily" with its ruler accepting India's requests and instructing officials to address the issue in two days, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told Parliament today.

The Saudi government will give exit visas to the stranded Indians, provide free medical facility and food to the workers living in camps and allow those eligible to seek re-employment with other companies, she said in suo motu statements in both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha.

"I am happy to inform the House that the Saudi ruler has taken note of the plight of Indian workers... Saudi King has instructed his officials to resolve the issue in two days," she said.

"The matter has been satisfactorily resolved," she said and thanked the Saudi King and his government for it.

Swaraj credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi's efforts in building strong personal ties with the Saudi King and also between the two countries during his recent visit to the Islamic nation for the outcome.

She said her deputy V.K. Singh, who has been camping there since Tuesday evening, will return after formalising the arrangements for the Indian workers.

Earlier this week, Swaraj had informed Parliament about the criss and given details of the efforts being made by the government to help out stranded workers.

Speaking today of the progress, she said the Saudi government has not only agreed to giving them exit visas, as sought by India, but also offered to transport them to India at its expenses. "Government of India will not have to spend a penny on that," she said.

The Islamic nation has also permitted workers to take re-employment if other companies find them suitable, she said, adding that before departing, the Indian workers will register their claims of unpaid salaries and other dues with the Labour Office of Saudi Arabia.

Indian Embassy in Riyadh will follow up with the Labour Office of Saudi Arabia to get all the dues of workers cleared, she said.

The Minister said the Saudi ruler has also issued orders to provide free medical facilities and food to Indian workers lodged in the camps apart from taking care of cleanliness.

In the Rajya Sabha, Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad complimented the Indian and the Saudi governments for reaching a solution on the issue.

In the Lok Sabha, Jyotiraditya Scindia (Congress) took a jibe at the government, saying other ministers should follow her practice of responding to concerns raised in the House.

He said the government should also speak about relations with China, Pakistan and Oman.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said there should not be politics on every issue and if something good has happened, it should be praised. "You should at times compliment them (government)," she told Congress leaders.

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