Hyderabad: The Congress party on Wednesday demanded that the Telangana Government must bring back stranded gulf labour on free of cost.
Addressing a press conference, All India Congress Committee National Spokesperson Dr. Sravan Dasoju said that the sufferings of Gulf migrant laborers have worsened after the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic. In this regard Sravan & TPCC NRI Cell Convener Nangi Devender Reddy wrote an open letter to Telangana Chief minister requesting him to address the issue of gulf labour.
He stated that according to Ministry of External Affairs, there are more than 12-15 Lakhs of workforce from Telangana, including both men and women, in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries. It is estimated that nearly every month Rs.1500 crores worth of foreign exchange gets remitted to Telangana from these Gulf Workforce.
But things have totally changed now. Due to combined shock of collapsing oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic is forcing the Arab Gulf economy to reduce the scope of their business operations. And as a result, many of the labor are being laid off from their employment. Even if the pandemic subsides, there is likely to be serious business crisis due to fall in in oil prices and labour are likely to lose their jobs.
As a result, the labour in GCC nations is in deep anguish about their lives and livelihoods. Most of them having lost jobs, do not have access to proper livelihood and even there is no medical care and compelled to live in most hazardous conditions and worried about the spread of Covid-19.
Sravan demanded that in these circumstances, the government of Telangana should coordinate and collaborate with central government and bring back whosoever is desirous to return to India at free of cost.
Sravan said that while we welcome the Government of India’s efforts to arrange for flights to enable the stranded labour to return to India from different parts of the world, but it is improper on the part of the government to charge Airfares to return to India as the labour is already in most vulnerable situation without income.
Sravan further suggested the Government of Telangana must persuade the central government to ensure that the flight charges from GCC nation to Hyderabad may be born by the Government of India and the local transport from the Hyderabad Airport to their respective villages can be born by the state government.
Sravan also requested Government of Telangana to make sure that after returning to Telangana, these workers should be given ‘Return, Resettlement & Rehabilitation’ package to help them settle in their native places with dignity and decent quality of life. He stated that this is the least that we could do to our gulf labour who contributed immensely to our economy over the years.