Indian Minister Assures Help to Stranded Workers in Kuwait

Minister of State for External Affairs Gen. VK Singh told workers that the government will pursue the matter of their unpaid salaries with the Kuwait employers.


Stranded Indian employees of a company in Kuwait who have not been paid wages for months were assured of help by Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Gen. VK Singh on Jan.11. Singh visited the unpaid Indian workers of Kharafi National, and also met the Kuwait Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah.

Singh assured the workers that the Indian government would pursue the matter. “We will try to see that you get at least part of the dues. However, we cannot pressurize them too much, or else they may not pay even that amount. However, we will pursue the matter legally for whatever salary dues you are supposed to get,” Singh told the workers, the Times of India reported.

As many as 2,000 Indian workers are stranded in Kuwait as they have not received wages from the construction company, Kharafi National, where they have been working for over a year. The visas of many of them have also expired, making their stay illegal as they wait for the company to settle the issue.

Singh assured workers that the penalties for overstaying in Kuwait, as their visas have expired, will be waived off and that they can now return to India. He also informed them that he met Kuwaiti ministers and received assurances from them that the concerns of the workers will be discussed in the Cabinet.

“Two years ago, when I came here, I understood the problem was severe and took up the issue of workers. However, it has not been totally resolved and has grown serious. We are making the best of our efforts to help you all. In fact, we are more concerned about you, than you are about yourselves,” he said.

Singh, during his meeting with the Indian workers, suggested that people from each state should list out their individual problems and submit it to the embassy. He introduced the newly appointed ambassador, Jeevasagar, to the workers.

He also asked them to specify the details of the agents who sent them to Kuwait in an effort to check whether they have been authorized by the government.

Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Jan. 10 also said that an illegal migrant would be brought back only after the concerned state government has lodged FIR against the agent. The cost would be recovered from the agent who sent the migrant abroad illegally.

Meanwhile, Protector-General of Emigrants MC Luther said that a high-level delegation is going to visit Kuwait to look into the pending issues. The delegation will also try and resolve the situation being faced by the Indian employees of Kharafi National Company, the publication reported.

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