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QUESTION NO.247 BAN ON MIGRATION TO GULF COUNTRIES

August 09, 2018

RAJYA SABHA
STARRED QUESTION NO.247
TO BE ANSWERED ON 09.8.2018

BAN ON MIGRATION TO GULF COUNTRIES

*247. SHRI T.G. VENKATESH:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) whether it is a fact that Government is imposing restrictions on migration to Gulf countries in view of the problems being faced by Indians in those countries;

(b) if so, the details thereof;

(c) the steps taken/being taken by Government to bring already migrated Indians back; and

(d) the details and the number of people benefited by such steps?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
(SHRIMATI SUSHMA SWARAJ)

(a) to (d) A Statement is laid on the table of the House.

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STATEMENT REFERRED TO IN REPLY TO PARA (a) To (d) OF THE RAJYA SABHA STARRED QUESTION NO. 247 REGARDING "BAN ON MIGRATION TO GULF COUNTRIES” FOR ANSWER ON 09.08.2018

(a) & (b) No, Sir. However, Indian nationals are advised not to travel to Yemen in the Gulf region in view of the security situation.

The government has also taken additional measures to safeguard the interests of Indian female workers migrating to Emigration Check Required (ECR) countries in view of complaints of exploitation and harassment of the housemaids by unscrupulous agents and employers in the Gulf countries. As per extant guidelines, the minimum age of ECR category female workers proceeding for overseas employment to ECR countries is 30 years. Their emigration for overseas employment is permitted only through the seven designated state run recruitment agencies or through the Foreign Employer registered on e-Migrate system. In case of Foreign Employer, attestation of work contract by the Indian Mission in the destination country and submission of a bank guarantee of US $ 2500 is mandatory before the emigration clearance is granted by the Office of Protector of Emigrants.

(c) & (d) There is a robust institutional framework in place towards ensuring the safety and well-being of Indian nationals going abroad. The MADAD portal, e- Migrate system, Indian Community Welfare Fund, Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendras, Open Houses, help-lines, shelter homes etc. are some of the important mechanisms to expeditiously assist Indian nationals abroad. The government also works in close coordination with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries where the Indian community is over 9 million. Labour and Manpower Cooperation related MoUs/Agreements are also in place with GCC countries that provide the overarching overall framework for dialogue on these matters.

The government has extended necessary support to facilitate return of Indian nationals who have availed amnesty offers in GCC countries. These include return of 2,117 Indians from Oman (May-October,2015), 2,188 Indians from Bahrain (July-December,2015), around 2000 Indians from Qatar (September -December,2016), over 75,000 Indians from Saudi Arabia (March-November,2017) and 13,963 Indians from Kuwait (January-April,2018) since 2014. The Government is also extending all possible support to Indian nationals during the ongoing Amnesty offer in UAE.

The Government has also facilitated return of Indian workers adversely affected by the economic downturn in the Gulf region. Important repatriations include over 4900 workers of Saudi Oger and the SAAD Group from Saudi Arabia during 2016-17 and around 1700 workers of Kharafi National of Kuwait earlier this year. Indian workers in companies affected by economic downturn have also been extended assistance through waiver of fines on Iqama (resident permit) related violations, providing exit visas and one way return tickets to India as well as transfer of sponsorship, wherever possible, on gratis basis.

From 2014 to December, 2017, Govt. has brought back 1,01,336 Indians from abroad affected by war, internal strife and natural disasters. This figure also includes repatriation of Indian nationals from abroad for various other reasons including those caught in situations, impacted by economic slowdown in the Gulf region and facing difficulty due to employment related issues.

Out of above 1,01,336 Indians, Govt has brought back the following number of Indians from GCC countries in the same period:

S.No.

Name of Country

Number of Indians

1.

Saudi Arabia

45843

2.

Oman

5948

3.

Kuwait

12753

4.

United Arab Emirates

4832

5.

Bahrain

403

6.

Qatar

2636

 

Total

72415



*source: CPV Division Reply to Lok Sabha Unstarred Question 76 replied on 18 July 2018

In the above figure of 72,415, who were brought back from GCC countries, 6,815 Indians were provided air tickets from Indian Community Welfare Fund in the same period.

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