Steps to help people suffering in Saudi and Oman: Sushma Swaraj

New Delhi: The Centre has initiated steps on a war footing to help people in distress in Saudi and Oman after they lost their jobs, Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday informed the state BJP. Swaraj told state BJP President Kummanom Rajasekharan over phone that the Centre would extend all facilities to those who want to return to their homeland, a party release said.

Rajasekharan asked the Centre to take steps, including facilities for change of sponsorship for those who want to continue in those countries. He also demanded the Centre to exert pressure on the Saudi government to take action against companies that violated labour laws and steps to disburse salary arrears to workers who lost their jobs.

Rajasekharan also sought immediate intervention of the Centre on the problems faced by nurses from Kerala who were facing threat in Oman. Swaraj assured BJP state president that all possible help willl be provided, the release said.

Approximately 10,000 Indian workers have been affected by the economic slowdown in the Gulf and the situation which was “fluid and dynamic”, varied from company to company.

Sources said 3,172 Indian workers in Riyadh have not been paid their salary dues for several months but are getting regular rations. Scores of workers have not received wages for several months as their employers have closed down factories.

In a statement in Parliament yesterday Swaraj had said her deputy V K Singh is leaving for Saudi Arabia to oversee the evacuation process and all the Indians would be brought back.