India-Saudi Arabia mulling MoU to safeguard workers' interests

The discussions are at a very initial stage but the two sides will reach an understanding soon, Saudi Amabassador to India Faisal H Trad said. The envoy said he had held a number of discussions with Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi on the unauthorised agents, who send workers to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries with fake work permits.

"I assure that whatever we can do in our powers we will do and people need a better awareness of rules and regulations in Saudi. We may be reaching an MoU on labour," he said.

He was speaking after welcoming back an all-women's delegation which visited Saudi Arabia this month to get better understanding of the opportunities available for women there.

Trad expressed hope that the two countries will arrive at the MoU soon which would safeguard the interests of the Indian workers in Saudi Arabia and ensure their welfare. Saudi is one of the most favourable destinations for unskilled Indian workers, who land there through agents without valid work permits.

The Ambassador said Ravi had explained to him the steps India is taking to reduce the number of agencies which send people abroad.

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