In an effort to provide aid to the Indians stuck in Saudi Arabia, the Indian consulate has been providing rations to the 2,450 Indians stuck there. These rations are likely to last for 8-10 days. Meanwhile the Indian government is trying to get these unemployed workers back to the country and arrange for the payment for their unpaid dues. The External Affairs Ministry has given instructions to Indian embassy in Riyadh and consulate in Jeddah to provide the workers with food supply immediately. Earlier on Saturday, External Affairs MInister Sushma Swaraj said that a large number of Indians have lost their jobs in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. It was reported that 10,000 Indians were left unemployed in the Gulf due to the economic slowdown. 3172 of these workers had not been paid their dues for several months and hence faced a food crisis.
These workers have been laid off by Saudi Oger, a leading Saudi construction company following the slowdown in the Saudi construction industry due to the fall in global crude oil prices. “The employers have not paid wages, closed down their factories,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said. She stated this in response to a tweet from a man who said that over 800 jobless Indians have been starving for three days in Jeddah. She had said that while the situation in Kuwait was manageable, matters were much worse in Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, according to government sources MJ Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs has been liasing with the Saudi Arabian authorities assuring that the claim of Indian workers for unpaid dues are lodged and processed. Akbar has also sought the Saudi Arabian government’s approach to get the Indians back to India safely.
(with agency inputs)