Free return tickets for stranded workers in Saudi

Free return tickets for stranded workers in Saudi

There's new hope for at least 3,000 Indian workers, including 1,000 from Punjab, who have been languishing in Saudi Arabia for some time now without passport, salary and visas.

The Centre has decided to provide them return air tickets to India, besides all necessary assistance to ensure their well being and transfer. The Indian Mission in Riyadh was visiting the 13 construction camps in Saudi Arabia where these Indian workers were stationed. The workers are also being provided all possible medical assistance, when needed.

Union food processing industries minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Thursday said she had received a positive communication from Union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj after it was bought to her notice that the employers of the stranded Indian workers had stopped paying salaries. The visas of these workers had also expired along with their residence permits.

Co shuts shop

Kaur said Swaraj had informed her that the workers had been hired by one of the biggest construction companies in Saudi Arabia, which shut operations due to financial losses. The Indian Mission in Riyadh is coordinating with the Saudi authorities and company officials concerned to ensure that outstanding dues of the workers were paid to them.

Harsimrat Kaur said the Indian authorities were also trying to get the residential permits of the workers  renewed so that they could continue to work in Saudi Arabia if they desired. “Arrangements had also been made to give return tickets to all workers who wished to come back to India,” she said.