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Indian workers stranded for ‘incomplete documents’

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Indian workers stranded for ‘incomplete documents’
Jeddah: Thousands of newly recruited Indian domestic workers have found themselves stranded in India due to incomplete agreement papers. Work visas in the domestic area are being issued by the Saudi authorities and are being endorsed by its diplomatic missions in New Delhi and Mumbai also. But obtaining emigration clearance from Indian authorities that are generally required for the unskilled labors to leave the country is getting difficult.

“We have been receiving numerous visa applications along with the correct endorsements. However, we have often been unable to get emigration clearance from the PoEs (protector of emigrants) at the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in India due to a lack of authenticated employment agreements,” Abdul Razaq, a leading manpower recruitment agent and president of Andhra Pradesh Recruitment Agents Association, told Arab News.

He said, “PoEs in India are demanding the submission of employment agreements attested by the relevant authorities in Kingdom, and we have not been able to get attested documents from Saudi employers, thus resulting in the standing of many newly recruited workers, especially house drivers.” In the Kingdom, the price involved to recruit a house driver has increase four-fold in recent times due to the full enforcement of recruitment laws and regulations. Earlier, recruitment agencies charged SR4,000 for a driver, and now, around SR15,000 to 20,000 for the very same process.

Recently, the Saudi Labor Ministry made it mandatory to disclose the cost of recruitment charges demanded by recruitment offices.
Abdul Mohsin Abdul Karim, a Saudi citizen, told Arab News: “I have been running from pillar to post to recruit a driver from India; even though the relevant visa was endorsed long ago, my driver is still not able to leave India to begin his work here.”


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