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QUESTION NO.582 INDIAN WORKERS IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES

February 06, 2019

LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.582
TO BE ANSWERED ON 06.02.2019

INDIAN WORKERS IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES

†582. SHRI HARISH CHANDRA ALIAS HARISH DWIVEDI:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) the number of Indian citizens working in foreign countries, country-wise;

(b) whether any system is in place to monitor their working conditions; and

(c) if so, the details thereof?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[GEN. (DR) V. K. SINGH (RETD)]

(a) The Government has reliable data in respect of emigration check Required (ECR) passport holding Indian workers, emigrating legally, to any of the 18 ECR countries as they need to take clearance and thus automatically get registered. Many countries do not share data with others, including Indian Missions abroad, on the figure of foreign employees in their country citing data privacy and similar laws. Therefore, it is not possible to indicate the exact number of Indians working in foreign countries. However, the number of ECR passport holding Indian workers, who proceeded after obtaining Emigration Clearance (EC) for overseas employment in ECR countries, during the last three years is annexed.

(b) & (c) Following steps have been put in place for ensuring welfare and safety of emigrants abroad:

Immediately on receipt of complaints from the emigrants, the same are addressed by the Indian Missions by taking them up with the concerned local government authorities for immediate resolution. Complaints pertaining to employment related issues are taken up by the Indian Missions with the concerned foreign employer / Labour Department officials in that country for prompt redressal. The Government has taken several steps to safeguard the interests of Indian emigrants to the Gulf countries, these are:

(i) The on-line MADAD portal enables the emigrant workers and their family members to register their consular grievances on-line and track their redressal.

(ii) Grievances related to Overseas Employment in notified Emigration Check Required (ECR) countries can also be lodged directly by emigrants/relatives or through the Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendra (PBSK) on eMigrate portal. These grievances are settled by respective jurisdictional Protectors of Emigrants (PoEs) as per laid down procedures.

(iii) Missions in Gulf countries also conduct Open Houses on a regular basis where workers can speak on their working conditions and seek redressal of their grievances.

(iv) A multi-lingual 24X7 Helpline of Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendra (PBSK) in New Delhi provides information, guidance and grievance redressal on all issues and problems pertaining to overseas employment of Indian nationals.

(v) Missions in Gulf countries have also established 24x7 help lines and Toll Free help lines for the benefit of Indian workers to seek help.

(vi) Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendras (PBSK) have been set up at Dubai (UAE), Sharjah (UAE), Riyadh, Jeddah (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), to provide guidance and counseling on all matters pertaining to overseas Indian workers.

(vii) Kshetriya Pravasi Sahayata Kendras (KPSK) have also been setup in Kochi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Lucknow to assist emigrants or their relatives to redress their problems/complaints regarding overseas employment.

(viii) Grievances brought to the notice of the Ministry through social media, including twitter, which is directly seen by EAM, are promptly addressed, with EAM herself following up the cases.

(ix) The Missions utilise the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) to provide assistance to overseas Indian nationals in times of distress.

(x) Suitable accommodation to house distressed Indian nationals has been setup in Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and Malaysia to provide temporary accommodation.

(xi) Labour and Manpower Cooperation MoUs/Agreements are already in place with the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries that provide the institutional framework to comprehensively discuss and review labour related issues. In accordance with the Labour and Manpower Cooperation/Agreement, Joint Working Group (JWG) meetings are held on regular basis to discuss various labour related issues.

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