New Delhi [India]: Underlining the importance of the security of Indians working abroad, a top MEA official on Wednesday urged legal means of migration while highlighting manpower agreements signed by India with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
Secretary (Consular and Diaspora), Ministry of External Affairs, Ausaf Sayeed made these remarks during a curtain raiser event for the upcoming Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas slated to be held next week in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. “During the course of our conversations, we talked about the Migration and Mobility Partnership agreements with various countries.
With all the GCC countries and some other countries like Jordan, we do have manpower agreements. We also have domestic workers agreement. Then with European countries we also have social security agreements with almost 20 countries. So these are the mechanisms which Safeguard the interest of the Indian Workforce abroad,” said Ausaf Sayeed at the event titled ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2023: Celebrating Diaspora in the Era of Amrit Kaal’.
“Having served widely in the Middle Eastern countries, I would like to mention to you that most of the gulf countries themselves have now, come up with new labour laws which are very – very transparent, which takes care of, of course, the interests of the workforce, as well as bringing about transparency into the thing,” he added.
Talking about the Kafala system, the MEA secretary said it is a thing of the past and there is no kafala system as such in many countries.
“The Kafala system is more or less a thing of the past. There is no Kafala system as such in many countries. For example, in Saudi Arabia, you could change this sponsorship, online. There is no need for permission. Even from your company to travel, and all that. So things are getting improved,” he said.
On government initiatives, Sayeed said, “One of the things which we are trying to do is that we have an e-migrate system, so we are integrating this e-migrate system with 13 POA offices within India. Another important thing we are trying to do is link up this e-migrate platform with countries.”
“Major manpower importing countries, the GCC countries and others. We have started discussions with Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar. So, I think with these measures, more transparency will be brought into the recruitment,” he added.
The MEA secretary said India only believes in the legal form of migration.
“So, that if they go through legal manner then you know, there are chances that India is a sending country as well as the recipient countries, both will be in a better position to manage this kind of migration well,” he added.