Source: News Bharati English03 Aug 2016 12:07:28

Jeddah, August 3: To assess the situation and finalize modalities to bring back stranded Indians who want to return to home from Saudi Arabia, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh reached Jeddah today morning. These Indians are reeling under severe financial crisis in Saudi Arabia after losing their jobs. Ahead of General (Retd.) Singh's visit, the Indian embassy has launched an initiative to collect details of the Indians laid off by their employers. MEA officials said that Singh is scheduled to return on Friday.
Currently, a total of 7,700 affected Indian workers are living in 20 camps. Over a thousands of Indian workers have lost their jobs due to slowdown in Saudi economy, triggered by low oil prices of that country.The Indian mission has provided food to the Indians who cannot buy it.

Making a statement in Parliament, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said the workers will be brought back home, asserting that not one of them will go hungry. The minister further said that the government is in touch with the foreign and labour offices in Saudi Arabia to ensure early evacuation of Indian workers.

Addressing the Rajya Sabha, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday said she was sending Gen. (Retd) Singh on Tuesday, even as the government ensured free rations to 2,450 workers of the Saudi Oger company stranded in camps in Jeddah. “If any Indian worker abroad is unemployed, he will not sleep hungry,” Swaraj said. “The government takes full responsibility to feed them. If they get another job, that is fine, but if they want to return home, then I assure you we will bring them home.”

According to media agencies, Garry Martinez, Chairman of the Migrante International, which works for the millions of Filipino overseas workers worldwide said, some Filipinos are forced to beg or sift through garbage to survive after going unpaid for months. Meanwhile, Pakistan said, 8,520 of its nationals in Saudi Arabia had not been receiving their salaries for several months. 

Earlier on Tuesday, Singh’s ministerial colleague in the MEA M J Akbar, who looks after issues relating to the Gulf region, met Saudi Ambassador Saud bin Mohammed Al Sati and discussed the difficulties being faced by Indians who have lost their jobs. “Had fruitful discussions with Saudi Ambassador to India Dr Saud bin Mohammed Al Sati on all bilateral issues. Glad to receive support and assurances from Saudi government to resolve all outstanding issues, including that of our Indian labourers,” Akbar said in a series of tweets.