New scheme to support overseas Indian workers

Last Updated: Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 14:54

New Delhi: In a major initiative to support
overseas Indian workers, Government will soon launch a scheme
to provide them resettlement expenses, insurance cover and
pension benefits on their return to the country.

Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said the
diaspora community has been contributing significantly to
India`s economy by sending billion of dollars in remittances
and government is launching the scheme to support them on
their return to the country.

"We are very soon going to launch a scheme which would
provide for resettlement expenses, insurance cover and pension
provisions for emigrant Indian workers," he said addressing
the fourth consultative meeting with state governments on
issues relating to overseas Indian workers.

"When the migrant worker returns to India, he is older
and he has to start economic activity to support himself and
his family. That is to support the workers, we have decided to
launch the scheme," he said. However, he did not elaborate on
details of the scheme.

Seeking support of the state governments in further
cementing ties with the diaspora community, Ravi said his
ministry was working sincerely to deepen the engagement with
around 27 million overseas Indians.

He appreciated various states for appointing nodal civil
and police officials to offer solutions to problems related to
properties and other issues being faced by the Overseas
Indians hailing from their respective states and asked the
other states to follow the same.

"I am particularly concerned about the Overseas Indian
workers working in the Gulf region. Their total number is over
7.5 million. They migrate for economic reasons and send back
remittances. We will have to support them on their return," he
said.

Noting that Indian workers often face difficulties in
Gulf countries as their contract conditions are changed by
their foreign employer, Ravi said government has finalised a
web-based attestation system of employment contracts for
workers in the UAE.

"In order to overcome this problem, we are initiating
with the UAE Ministry of Labour a web-based attestation system
of employment contracts in the Indian missions at Abu Dhabi
and Dubai. This procedure would help us enforce the contracts
conditions," he said.

"We have directed the Indian missions in other countries
of the region to establish similar process to attest the
employment contracts," he said.

Ravi said government would soon transform the emigration
mechanism and to bring the changes the Emigration Management
Bill will be tabled in Parliament soon.

The proposed legislation will provide for greater
transparency, better regulation and deterrent punishment to
the offenders. He said with one year, the entire migration
process would be made online.

"Within 52 weeks, we would be able to provide a common
electronic platform for all the concerned in the process of
migration. This system would link the e-passport system and
even the Indian missions abroad to provide a seamless service
of migration clearance to the Indian workers going abroad," he
said.

He said in view of large number of people from Northeast
migrating abroad, government has decided to open an office of
protector of emigrant (PoE) in Guwahati. Two other such
offices will come up in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

The Minister said his Ministry is also pursuing a
framework agreement called Human Resource Mobility Partnership
with several developed countries to ensure seamless migration
of Indian workers.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 14:54

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