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Kuwait-India labour stand-off looms large
December 4, 2014, 9:14 am
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Kuwaitis reject domestic helpers’ bank guarantee measure

A labour stand-off is looming large between Kuwait and India over a decision by New Delhi to ask for a $2,500 (Dh9,182) bank guarantee from any employer in the Gulf country who wishes to hire an Indian domestic helper.

India said that the bank guarantee would be used “for the repatriation of the housemaid and other unpaid expenses like salary, medical expenses... in case the employer fails to pay the same as per the terms of the agreement.”

“The bank guarantee is to be submitted in original to the Embassy of India,” the embassy said.

“On termination of the employment contract at any time by mutual consent, the employer should bring the domestic worker to the Embassy of India and submit a written request for a refund of the bank guarantee before the final departure of the domestic worker to India.

"The domestic worker would be required to confirm in writing that all her dues have been settled. Should the domestic worker complain of non-receipt of her dues, the Embassy would deduct the same from the bank guarantee.”

However, Kuwaitis have refused the new Indian conditions and the stance gained new dimensions amid reports that Kuwait might consider suspending the recruitment of manpower from India in retaliation for the bank guarantee decision.

The reports said that several lawmakers were pushing to take a firm stance against India over the recruitment of Indian helpers, arguing that the bank guarantee was a violation of the laws and norms.

According to the lawmakers, the protection of expatriates and their rights is the duty of the state, and not embassies.

One lawmaker said that accepting the Indian condition would encourage other embassies in Kuwait to adopt similar measures.

The Indian community is the largest in Kuwait with around 750,000 people, including 270,000 domestic helpers.

 

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