India pushing Gulf countries for liberal labour lawsJanuary 8th, 2012 - 3:49 pm ICT by IANS
Jaipur, Jan 8 (IANS) India will enter into bilateral agreements with the Gulf countries to curb exploitation of Indian labour in the region and ensure a decent working environment for its diaspora, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said Sunday.Addressing the inaugural session of the annual diaspora meet here, Ravi said India has already signed bilateral agreements with some of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to ensure a decent work environment for its diaspora, especially women workers.
The minister said majority of Indian workers in the Gulf region were on temporary contractual visas employed in informal sectors.
“They often do not have the protection of labour laws in the host countries. A significant number of them are women. This makes them especially vulnerable to economic downturns and sometimes exploitation,” Ravi said.
Ravi said the appalling conditions of work and the absence of social security protection for women domestic workers in the Gulf region needed strong governmental interventions.
“Even the International Labour Organisation has recently drawn attention to the urgency in this regard,” he said.
The minister said an estimated five million Indians were employed on contractual temporary visas abroad mostly in Gulf countries and Malaysia.
“There is a net annual outflow of over half a million workers from India, excluding returnees,” he said.
Ravi complimented the contribution of these workers in the development of Indian economy.
“These workers make a significant contribution to India and account for close to 40 percent of the total remittances that India receives each year,” he said.
According to a World Bank report, India is estimated to receive around $60 billion remittance in 2011.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday formally inaugurated the 10th annual diaspora meet called the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) here.
The event is aimed to connect India with its around 30-million strong diaspora spread in over 130 countries across the world.
“Over the years the PBD has gained in stature and is now globally recognized as a pre-eminent platform for overseas Indians to engage with India and its leadership,” Ravi said.
On the occasion, Ravi announced that Indian government has created a special fund called “Indian Community Welfare Fund” that will be used to provide “on-site” welfare services to overseas Indians in distress.
The new fund is placed at the command of the heads of the Indian missions across the world.
The fund provides for food, shelter, legal assistance and other welfare support to overseas Indians on a “means tested” basis.
(Gyanendra Kumar Keshri can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Overseas Indian workers to get pension, life insurance - Jan 07, 2012
- India seeks diaspora investment in energy, healthcare - Jan 07, 2012
- Regional diaspora meet in Dubai this year: Ravi - Jan 09, 2012
- Indian migration remains high despite economic crisis - Dec 04, 2011
- Canada announces 10-year visas for Indians (Lead) - Jun 10, 2011
- President seeks diaspora's participation in India's growth story (Lead) - Jan 09, 2010
- Gulf NRIs seek differential tax treatment - Jan 11, 2011
- Over 1,500 delegates to attend Indian diaspora conclave in 2012 - Aug 26, 2011
- India asks Gulf countries to end sponsorship regime - Jan 08, 2011
- Africans replacing Indian workers in Gulf? - Dec 25, 2011
- Ravi stresses on effective mechanism for benefit of migrant workers - Apr 20, 2011
- 'Qatar needs to ensure better protection of Indian workers' - Apr 07, 2012
- India asks diaspora to become partners in progress - Jun 10, 2011
- Cochin to host next annual Indian diaspora meet - Jun 19, 2012
- Gulf NRIs air their problems, suggestions at diaspora meet - Jan 09, 2010
Tags: appalling conditions, bilateral agreements, economic downturns, gcc countries, gulf cooperation council, gulf countries, half a million, host countries, inaugural session, indian economy, informal sectors, international labour organisation, labour laws, manmohan singh, pbd, pravasi bharatiya, prime minister manmohan, prime minister manmohan singh, social security protection, women workers