India has taken up case of workers not paid end of service dues in Saudi: MEA

The Indian mission in Saudi Arabia has taken up the matter of 286 Indian workers who were reportedly not paid end of service dues by a private firm there, and it is hopeful of a “positive resolution” of the issue, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.

As per media reports, many Indian migrant workers from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha, who have returned to India after they were laid off by a private company in Saudi Arabia due to the coronavirus pandemic have approached the Indian government over unpaid end of service benefits.

MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava on Thursday said all such cases, including the case of 286 Indian workers who were working for a company in Saudi Arabia, are raised by India’s missions in these countries with employers as well as local authorities.

“In this particular case, this has been followed up by our embassy and we are hopeful for a positive resolution,” he said at an online media briefing.

Asked about the steps taken by the government to deal with such cases, Srivastava said, “We have a portal called ‘Madad’ where all such cases, people who are affected, can register their grievances. Our missions and posts in these areas proactively follow it up with concerned authorities to get a resolution.”

To a separate question on the upcoming UN Day, Srivastava said this year marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and to commemorate this event the UN had held a high-level event last month in which the PM participated.

“In his address, the PM underscored, ‘While the world is a better place because of the UN and much has been achieved, today’s challenges can’t be fought with outdated structures and comprehensive reform of the UN is needed’ “.

As a special initiative Friday to mark the occasion, the department of Post will be releasing a stamp in the presence of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who is the chief guest for the event, Srivastava said.

“On the issue of the reforms of the UNSC and our preparations for the same, you are aware that India attaches the highest priority to the expansion of the security council in both its categories — the permanent and non permanent — so that it reflects contemporary realities of the world. Even in our upcoming innings as non-permanent member in 2021 reformed multilateralism is a key pillar of our approach and we aim to make a push in this regard along with like minded partners,” Srivastava said.

On another question pertaining to India-South Korea ties, Srivastava said the two countries share a special partnership which spans a whole range of areas and this relationship has taken great strides in recent years, particularly since the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to South Korea in 2015.

“It is spurred by a mutual convergence of interest by mutual goodwill and through high-level visits,” he said.

High-level communication has been maintained even in COVID times, including the telephone conversation between Prime Minister Modi and South Korean president Moon Jae-in, Srivastava said.

In these conversations, the two sides have exchanged views on the COVID-19 situation, the challenge it poses to the global health system and the ongoing diversifications of the international value chains, he said.

At the briefing, Srivastava also informed that as on Thursday, 19.40 lakh Indians have been repatriated through the Vande Bharat Mission.

“Phase 7 of VBM has been operational since October 1, 2020. Of the 1,050 international flights scheduled under this phase, 690 flights have already been operated from 20 countries, reaching 22 airports across the country and repatriating an estimated 1,30,000 persons,” he said.

“Our Missions continue to proactively work with the respective local governments to facilitate the movement of Indians stranded in those countries,” Srivastava said.

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