Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs
09-December-2010 16:10 IST
Demand of Labourers from India
Indian workers emigrate every year for Overseas employment in different sectors including manufacturing industry. During 2009 about 6.10 Lakh Indian workers emigrated under the Emigration Act, 1983. Out of this, about 90% of the emigration takes place to the Gulf Countries. However, no Government of any foreign country has specifically made a request for calling labourers from India for working in their manufacturing goods industry.

The Government has taken several initiatives for protection and welfare of Overseas Indian Workers which include:

(i) Attestation of employment documents by the Indian Mission concerned is mandatory in the case of recruitment of "unskilled workers" and "housemaids" for all 17 ECR countries. Attestation is required for all categories of workers in Yemen, Lebanon, Libya, Jordan, Sudan and Kuwait.

(ii) Government has established an Indian Workers Resource Centre (IWRC) at UAE.

(iii) A recalcitrant foreign employer is blacklisted (by placing him in the Prior approval category list) from future recruitment in consultation with the Indian Mission.

(iv) A Nation wide Awareness-cum-Publicity Campaign through media has been launched to educate intending emigrants about legal emigration procedures, risk of illegal migration and precautions to be taken during emigration.

(v) The Ministry has set up the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) in 42 Countries for providing onsite support and financial assistance to Indian workers in distress.

(vi) The Government has established an Overseas Workers Resource Centre (OWRC) which is a 24x7 hour telephone helpline which provides information to intending emigrants as well as emigrants on all aspects of emigration. Complaints can also be lodged through this helpline.

(vii) India had signed Labour Agreements with Jordan and Qatar in 1980s to protect the interest of the Indian Workers. Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) were signed with United Arab Emirates (UAE) in December, 2006, with Kuwait in April, 2007, with Oman in November 2008, with Malaysia in January 2009, and with Bahrain in June 2009. An Additional Protocol to the existing Labour Agreement between India and Qatar was signed in November, 2007.

Under these MOUs, Joint Working Group (JWG) have been constituted that meet regularly in order to resolve bilateral labour issues. These MOUs enhance bilateral co-operation in management of migration and protection of labour welfare.

This information was given by the Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, Shri Vayalar Ravi in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.