Saudi King assured help to stranded workers: Indian foreign minister Swaraj

Saudi King assured help to stranded workers: Indian foreign minister Swaraj

External affairs minister of India Sushma Swaraj that the Saudi administration was also making arrangements to provide food and other assistance to the workers. (Reuters)

New Delhi, India | Aug 5, 2016, 03.16 PM (IST)

Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj today said that the king of Saudi Arabia has assured of help to thousands of laid-off Indian workers stranded in his country.

Swaraj, who was addressing the Lower House of Parliament, said that the king has also given orders to resolve the issue within two days.

"I am happy to tell you that Saudi authorities have taken note of the issues that I had discussed and Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz has given orders that this issue must be resolved within two days. When V.K. Singh reached there he met their labour and social development minister, Haqbani (Mufrej Al Haqbani)," said Swaraj.

Regarding the dues of workers, the minister said, their claims will be settled even after their return.

"They have accepted that every worker will file their individual claim in the labour office before coming back. The labour office will work with Indian embassy in Riyadh and will settle all the claims. They will get their money even after coming back to India," said Swaraj.

She added that the Saudi administration was also making arrangements to provide food and other assistance to the workers.

The Consulate General of India in Jeddah said on its official Twitter feed on Saturday that it had distributed 15,475 kg of food over the past three days in association with the Indian community.

Low oil prices have forced the Saudi government to slash spending since last year, putting pressure on the finances of local construction firms which rely on state contracts.

As a result, some companies have been struggling to pay foreign workers and have laid off tens of thousands, leaving many with no money for food, let alone tickets for home.

The hardships faced by Indian migrants come amid rising protests against working conditions in Saudi Arabia.

(Reuters)
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