Indian labourers in Middle East face displacement

Kochi: Indian labourers especially Malayalis face displacement in the gulf thanks to the weakened economy of the Middle East and protectionists measures of the Indian government.

TOI has quoted Irudaya Rajan of Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram as saying, “the economy of the gulf hasn’t picked up after the global crisis. There is some recovery but haven’t got back to the pre-2008 level. They were trying to recover through World Cup, Dubai Expo 2020 and Saudi Arabia vision 2020, but they are yet to reach the pre-2008 stature. People from other countries like Nepal or the Philippines are edging out Indians/Malayalis as the former are ready to work for low wages, he added. He revealed that some Nepali labourers in Qatar were working for $200 (Rs 14,000) per month. He further informed that the salary of teachers in the Philippines are so low that they are coming to the Middle East to work as housemaids.

Majeed Abdullah chairman of Resource Hunters which supplies human resources to the Middle East said, Africa is also becoming a big threat to Indian labourers especially Malayalis as the former make themselves available on only 50% of what Indian workers are demanding. Professions like drivers, helpers and store workers witness major displacement.

The African workers are ready to work on Rs 8000 per month as compared to Indian drivers who demand more than Rs 20000 per month, while the African security staff are willing to work for Rs 20000 per month as against their Indian counterparts who demand Rs 30,000.

There is one more factor for the displacement of Indian workers which is the higher minimum wage by the Indian government, claimed Mumbai based recruiting agency.

Attempt of Gulf countries to maintain a demographic balance also plays a role in displacement of Indian workers. It acts against the hiring of Indian/Malayali workers.