Cabinet clears pact with Malaysia on labour welfare

March 21st, 2008 - 12:30 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) In a significant development, the Indian cabinet Thursday approved a pact with Malaysia to facilitate the employment of workers in both countries. “The memorandum of understanding (MoU) will ensure protection and welfare of all category of workers under the labour laws and other relevant laws of the host country,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told reporters after a meeting of the cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

A joint working group will be set up to implement the MoU and also to review employment opportunities and availability of corresponding skill in the two countries, he added.

“The MoU would promote bilateral cooperation in orderly recruitment and development of workers including cooperation in pre-departure orientation and training for skill upgradation,” the minister said.

The employment of Indian workers in Malaysia had generated much heat late last year after news reports from Kuala Lumpur - later denied - quoted an unnamed Malaysian home ministry official as saying that the cabinet decided to suspend the recruitment of workers from this country, as also from Bangladesh.

The official went on to say that existing workers from both countries would not have their work permits renewed.

Then Malaysian minister S. Samy Vellu had denied the reports.

Stating that Malaysia was an important destination for Indian workers, Dasmunshi said they constituted 137,000 of the two million foreign workers in the country.

“The condition of Indian workers is far from satisfactory. Complaints about ill treatment and exploitation of workers have been received in the past.

“It is therefore important to enter into a formal MoU with Malaysia to lay down framework for bilateral cooperation for promoting employment and protecting the welfare of our workers,” Dasmunsi added.

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