External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Sunday visited the Indian consulate in Jeddah and met with the officials on duty to access the arrangements for registration of Indian nationals for outpass.
Khurshid's visit to Saudia Arabia comes when the Indian Embassy in Riyadh and the consulate in Jeddah and other centres in Dammam and the Eastern Province have issued a second lot of 27,000 Emergency Certificates to enable Indian citizens to leave Saudi Arabia for home due to the Nitaqat policy.
"I must say I am extremely impressed by the hospitality provided. They have a small number of people but very efficient and hardworking. There has been a huge gathering by overseas citizens because of 'Nitaqat', they are all here, their papers have to be verified and checked, and also try and adjust it within the grace period," Khurshid said.
"The numbers are staggering but everybody is addressing them with courtesy and efficiency. For 'haj' there is an upgradation of facilities," he added.
Meanwhile, a large crowd, approximately 2,000 people, were queuing outside to consulate to get their accurate status after the implementation of new Labour law in Saudi Arabia. Everyday thousands of Indians apply for registration to meet the deadline of July 3.
Khurshid, who is on a four-day visit to Saudi Arabia, will meet Saudi Labour Minister H.E. Er. Adel bin Muhammad Fakeih and Interior Minister HRH Prince Muhammad bin Nayef Al-Saud later today.
Khurshid on Saturday discussed bilateral issues, including the Nitaqat law, with his Saudi Arabian counterpart Prince Saud Al Faisal as the Indian missions there scrambled to help over 55,000 Indian workers leave the kingdom in adherence to its new stringent work policy.
Addressing a joint press conference with his Saudi Arabian counterpart, Khurshid thanked the Saudi kingdom for "the concessions that Saudi Arabia announced for expatriate workers to correct their status or return to their country without penal action".
He said Indians are the most preferred community in Saudi Arabia due to their hard work and discipline.
"I pointed out the contributions of Indian diaspora in the economic growth of India and emphasised the importance we attach to the welfare of Indians abroad," Khurshid added. By Ravi Khandelwal(ANI)