Thursday, 25 June 2009

India Taking Steps to Rehabilitate Returning Gulf Expats: Tharoor

India Taking Steps to Rehabilitate Returning Gulf Expats: Tharoor
Sajila Saseendran 25 June 2009

DUBAI — The Indian Minister of State for External Affairs, Dr Shashi Tharoor, has said the new government in New Delhi would take adequate measures to rehabilitate Indians returning home from the Gulf and other foreign countries due to the impact of the global financial downturn.

During his first visit to the UAE as a minister, Tharoor, who assumed office last month, also assured that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was taking measures to penalise illegal recruiting agencies that dupe workers by making false promises.

Tharoor, who had earlier made various suggestions to the government for providing financial assistance for the rehabilitation of Gulf returnees, said the Central Government would extend all support to the non-resident Indians (NRIs) returning after losing jobs due to recession, though it had not announced any special welfare package to rehabilitate them.

“The government is cautious…both about losing their valuable contribution (from abroad) and the potential problems they face. India won’t lose interest in them and the government will not be indifferent to them,” Tharoor told reporters at a press meet organised by the Indian Consulate in Dubai on Tuesday evening.

He was in Dubai for a stopover during his trip to Yemen for attending an international conference organised by the Indian Ocean Rim Association Countries. Answering questions about the actions being taken against unscrupulous recruitment agencies, he said the Indian government was taking various steps, including amendments to the Immigration Act to ensure stringent punishment for illegal agents.

“The government cannot solve every problem... but we are trying to crack down on this...We are extremely concerned that innocent working men and women are being duped by unscrupulous agents.” Though it had been difficult for the government to tackle the unregulated agents functioning outside the regulatory network of authorities, Tharoor said, both the countries — Indian and the UAE — have had constructive dialogues to solve many issues related to labourers. Consul-General of India Venu Rajamony said the government had already started cancelling the registration of agents found guilty and some had been prosecuted in
criminal cases.

He said the Indian government had also launched a media campaign in different languages to make the public aware of such agents.

Click here to read the oringal report.

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