Tuesday, August 2, 2016

V K Singh to leave for Saudi Arabia tonight

Minister of State for External Affairs General VK Singh will leave for Saudi Arabia tonight to visit the worker camps in Jeddah and make an on-the-spot assessment of the ground situation. The Ministry's spokesperson Vikas Swarup told media that the Minister will reach Jeddah early morning tomorrow. Logistics and modalities of a possible repatriation of those workers who want to return will be worked out during Singh's visit. He is scheduled to return on Friday. 

Around 10,000 Indian workers have been affected by the economic slow down in the Gulf. Over 3,000 Indian workers in Riyadh have not been paid their salary dues for several months but are getting regular rations.

A total of 2,450 workers belonging to the Saudi Oger Company are housed in five camps in Jeddah, Mecca and Taif. The company had stopped providing meals to the workers since July 25th besides defaulting on their salaries. 

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had assured the Rajya Sabha yesterday that all arrangements will be made to bring back Indian workers currently stuck in Saudi Arabia. She has given instructions to Indian Embassy in Riyadh and Consulate in Jeddah to urgently provide food assistance to workers.

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