6 June 2013
India’s Kerala Diaspora minister K.C. Joseph will visit Saudi Arabia and Kuwait this week to discuss action in light of a new hard line on foreign labour which is forcing Keralites to return home.
The new "Nitiqat" law requires local companies to hire one Saudi national for every 10 migrant workers and is causing great concern for the 1.8 million expatriate Indians, many of whom are blue collar employees.
Already 60,000 Indians have requested emergency certificates from the Riyadh Indian Embassy to leave Saudi Arabia, as fears of job losses increases.
However, India has ruled out any impact on genuine workers in Saudi Arabia, saying that only illegal immigrants will be affected by the new law.
Saudi Arabia’s three-month amnesty period for Indian workers to regularise their status in the country ends this month.
Last week, a dozen Keralites in Kuwait who did not have proper labour documents were deported to India without the Indian embassy’s knowledge.