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New concessions for Indian expats in Saudi

New concessions for Indian expats in Saudi

Riyad: The Saudi Arabia has announced new concessions to expatriates, particularly from India, who are worried about losing their jobs when the Kingdom strictly enforces the 'Nitaqat' law.

According the new concession which was announced on Friday, those expatriates who are facing Huroob (missing from work) cases can transfer to other sponsors or go back to old sponsors.

Saudi Arabia has also made it clear that illegal foreign workers, including Indians, that they will face jail and fines once the three-month grace period ends on July 3, but those willing to return to India will not face any penalty.

In a joint statement, the Saudi Ministries of Interior and Labour confirmed that an inspection campaign will resume soon after the deadline to enforce the new labour and immigration laws, known as the Nitaqat law.

Riyadh has assured India that those who want to come back to Saudi on a new sponsor they can do so. Similarly, those who would like to go back to old sponsors, they will be permitted to do so subject to fulfilling other requirements.

The statement has urged those whose work and residency permits have expired, to take advantage of the amnesty without penalty, including "special measures" that would allow a change of employer under certain conditions.

According to these "special measures", all violators who would like to correct their situations and stay for work in the Gulf state will be exempted from all punishments and fines, except for government fees, related to their violations which took place before April 6.

Hailing the announcement made by the Saudi Arabia, Union Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahmed said it would greatly benefit a large number of Indian expatriates.

A delegation led by Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi had visited the Kingdom two weeks ago to raise concerns about the Nitaqat law.

During the talks, both sides had agreed to set up a joint working group to address "all immediate problems" facing the Indians including issues related to overstaying workers.

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