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1,877 Indians returned from Saudi Arabia: Govt

New Delhi: As many as 1,877 retrenched Indian workers returned to India from Saudi Arabia since August, Parliament was informed today.

Hundreds of Indian workers have lost their jobs due to slowdown in Saudi economy, triggered by low oil prices and cut in spending by the government.

“As per latest data available, a total of 1877 workers have arrived in India till November 11. The process is still on,” Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh told Rajya Sabha, replying to a question.

The Indians, who lost their jobs in Saudi Arabia, had started coming to India from August 11, in batches.

To a separate question, the Minister said about 2,700 workers, mainly from Saudi Arabia, have also been either repatriated or rescued by the recruiting agents at their own cost in the last one year.

He said the responsibility of resettlement of the returnees rests with the State Governments and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has requested all the State Governments to provide all necessary assistance to them.

“Ministry of External Affairs through its Missions abroad has facilitated return of distressed Indian workers from Gulf countries including those who have lost their jobs. This facilitation includes logistical support as well as providing air tickets whenever required,” Singh said.

In reply to another query, he said except Iraq and Egypt to some extent, there is no significant threat of losing jobs by the large number of Indian workers due to economic slowdown and “indigenisation of jobs” in the Middle East.

He said Indian missions in some countries reported that the governments in those nations are undertaking fiscal measures to cope with the depressed oil and gas prices.

Singh said the Government has successfully secured repatriation of those Indian workers who were facing distress due to non-payment of salaries in Saudi Arabia, after filing their claims through Indian Mission.

PTI