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Nitaqat effect: Ravi to visit Saudi Arabia

Nitaqat effect: Ravi to visit Saudi Arabia

New Delhi: Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi will visit Saudi Arbia to convey India's apprehension about possible job losses to Indians due to implementation of a new labour law - "Nitaqat" in the Gulf nation that seeks to reserve 10 per cent jobs for locals.

The decision on Ravi's visit to the country was taken after he had discussed the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday. Ravi held a separate meeting with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.

Sources said the Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry was in touch with Saudi authorities to finalise the dates for the visit.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had sought the Prime Minister's intervention to ensure that Indians working in that country do not face any hardship due to the new legislation. As per estimates, over five lakh people from Kerala are currently working in the country.

The Nitaqat law makes it mandatory for local companies to hire one Saudi national for every 10 migrant workers. There has been widespread perception that the new policy will lead to denial of job opportunities for a large number of Indians working there.

The Saudi government was implementing the Nitaqat law to cut unemployment in the country.

The sources said government has already asked the Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia to take up the issue with the government of that country.

The Indian Embassy in Riyadh had yesterday urged the Indian community not to panic on basis of media reports.

It said a number of Indians have approached the embassy seeking issuance of Out Pass (Emergency Certificate) to leave the country.

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