New Delhi: As many as 9,771 complaints of torture have been filed by Indian workers in the Gulf countries this year, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said here in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
“As per the information given by Missions and Posts in the Gulf countries, as on 30.6.2019, Kuwait tops the list with the highest number of complaints (2377). While 2244 complaints were registered from Saudi Arabia, as many as 1764 complaints were from Oman. Around 1477 and 1459 complaints came from the United Arab Emirates and Qatar respectively. However, only 450 complaints of torture were filed from Bahrain,” he said in a written reply to a member from Kerala Dean Kuriakose said.
Most of the complaints received from and on behalf of Indian workers were regarding non-payment of salaries and denial of legitimate labour rights and benefits such as non-issuance/renewal of residence permits, non-payment/grant of overtime allowance, weekly holidays, longer working hours, refusal to grant exit/re-entry permits for visit to India, refusal to allow the worker on final exit visa after completion of their contracts and non-provision of medical and insurance facilities, not being paid compensation upon death, etc., the reply said,
According to the official data, as on 30th June 2019, a total of 5,804 Indians registered for repatriation in the embassies or consulates in the Gulf countries.
Replying to a query whether the embassies or consulates have adequate staff to support these distressed workers in the Middle East countries, Jaishankar said: “Around 42 India-based officers and 202 India based staff are deployed in 11 Missions and Posts in the Gulf countries and they are assisted by 354 local employees. The requirement of manpower in any establishment changes depending upon varying workload from time to time.”
“Ministry of External Affairs regularly reviews the requirement of manpower at various levels in Missions and Posts abroad as well as at the Headquarters, and takes appropriate action as per the requirement,” he added.