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Saudi King assisting stranded Indian workers: Sushma Swaraj

Saudi King assisting stranded Indian workers: Sushma Swaraj

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said King of Saudi Arabia Salman has directed his officers to resolve the issue of stranded Indians within two days.

"Saudi Arabia has said that exit visas will be given as asked by India for Indian workers there. Saudi Arabia has informed that the process of sending back workers to India, will be done on Saudi Arabia's expenses," Swaraj informed the Rajya Sabha.

She said Saudi Arabia has also given approval to the companies, who want to employ any of the Indian workers.

"Saudi Arabia has also said that Indian workers staying in camps will be provided medical and other facilities, food. India need not worry," she added.

The Saudi Arabian Government has agreed to swiftly resolve the plight of thousands of laid-off Indian workers including providing free passage to them to return home and clearing their unpaid dues.

Minister of State for External Affairs General (Retd.) V.K. Singh on Wednesday held extensive talks with Saudi Labour Minister Mufrej Al Haqbani in Riyadh.

General (Retd.) Singh said things were not as bad as it was projected, adding that they were in touch with officials of Government of Saudi Arabia.

"The problem was only with one company. The Government of Saudi Arabia took measures to ensure that people working in that company are taken care of. Who want to go back can do so at the expense of Government of Saudi Arabia, they can file claims. The people can transfer to other companies," he said.

Al Haqbani promised urgent action to resolve the difficulties being faced by around 7,000 Indians, most of whom are living in camps after losing their jobs due to economic slowdown in the oil-rich Gulf country.

General (Retd.) Singh arrived in Saudi Arabia yesterday to assess the situation and finalise modalities to bring back the stranded Indian workers who even do not have money to buy food.

He said that the Saudi Government has taken immediate actions to ensure that all camps, where Indian workers were staying, are provided facilities like medical, food, hygiene and sanitation.

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