New Delhi: India and Saudi Arabia will set up a Joint Working Group to address concerns over the kingdom''s Nitaqat program. It will address the concerns of expatriate Indian workers in Saudi Arabia.
The JWG led by a Deputy Saudi Minister and India''s Deputy Chief of Mission in Saudi Arabia will discuss and evolve mechanism for addressing all immediate problems facing the NRI community, including issues related to overstaying Indian workers. The first JWG meeting will be held in Riyadh on May 1.
The two countries have also decided to hold talks on the MoU for Labour Cooperation between India and Saudi Arabia. The India-Saudi Arabia Joint Working Group on Labour has been constituted to discuss the MoU and other related issues. The first meeting of this JWG on Labour will be held in New Delhi in May.
Both India and Saudi Arabia have also agreed to work closely to make the process of recruitment of workers more transparent. These decisions were taken at a meeting of a high level Indian delegation led by the Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vyalar Ravi with the Saudi Labour minister Adel Fakieh in Jeddah on Sunday.
The Deputy Chief of Indian Mission in Saudi Arabia, Sibi George, described the three-hour-long meeting between the two sides as cordial and positive. The team accompanied by E. Ahamed, Minister of State for External Affairs, and Prime Minister''s Adviser T.K.A. Nair also met the Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal on Sunday evening.
Earlier in the day, the delegation met the Indian community workers and representatives to share their concerns over the impact of Nitaqat program. They assured the Indian community that those who are working legally in Saudi Arabia won''t be adversely affected.
The team also apprised the NRI community of the steps taken by the Indian Government for the rehabilitation of those returning to India. Over two million Indians are currently working in Saudi Arabia.