Indian officials in the UAE are hopeful that modifications made on the eMigrate online recruitment system will help end exploitation of workers by recruiting agents and employers.
Officials have also dismissed concerns about blue-collar workers not being able to use the system since they have to apply online for emigration clearance.
The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs on Monday ordered the revamping of the eMigrate system to simplify procedures.
The system, implemented in July, had backfired. "The system is now running and we are gradually clearing the backlog," acting Consul-General of India in Dubai, K. Muraleedharan, told Khaleej Times on Wednesday.
Deepak Chhabria, chairman of the Employment Promotion Council of Indian Personnel - a representative body of Indian recruiting agencies in Mumbai - however claimed that the new procedures are anti-workers.
"Now, workers have to apply everything online and provide their signature on the contract, signed by the employer and sent via the system. I'm afraid the black sheep among recruiting agencies will forge their signatures instead of contacting the workers in far-flung villages," said Chhabria.
First Secretary (Community Affairs) at the Indian Embassy, Dinesh Kumar, said most workers in India now have online access.
"I'm sure most of the workers can do such simple online jobs. Or else they can seek help (from) ... staff at local Internet cafes. They need not seek the help of any agents for this," he said.
According to Kumar, the integration of the employment contract on eMigrate and the labour contract made here could be possible depending on the progress of negotiations between the two countries.
Apparently, the new system will put recruitment agents under strict scrutiny of the government. The onus is on the agencies to get an assurance from the employers that they will adhere to the contracts signed by all the parties concerned.
Source: The Khaleej Times