The cases of employer-employee disputes are received from time to time with complaints of non-payment/delayed payment or underpayment of salaries, non-renewal of visa and labour card on time, unsatisfactory living conditions including sub-standard food at the camp site, refusal to pay for the medical treatment of the worker, denial of leave and air ticket to the hometown on completion of 2 years period of contract, physical assault/sexual harassment, etc. Information in this regard has been received from Embassy of India, Riyadh, Kuwait, Muscat (Oman) and Consulate General of India, Jeddah for the last three years as follows:
The Government has taken several steps to address the issue of Indian emigrants, which include: –
(i) The Ministry has notified the Emigration (Amendment) Rules 2009 on 9th July, 2009 revising the eligibility criteria of Recruiting Agents (RAs), enhancing their recruiting capacity and increasing the security amount and service charges.
(ii) National Awareness-cum-Publicity Campaigns are carried out regularly to create wider awareness among the general public and particularly among the potential migrants on the risks of illegal migration and safeguards against illegal practices by unauthorized intermediaries and fraudulent recruiting agencies.
(iii) The Ministry has set up the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) in all Countries for providing onsite support and financial assistance to Indian workers in distress.
(iv) An Overseas Workers Resource Centre (OWRC), with a 24X7 helpline supported by eight regional languages assists emigrants/emigrants intending to go abroad for employment to 17 notified Emigration Clearance Required (ECR) countries.
(v) India has signed over the recent years Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with United Arab Emirates, (UAE), Kuwait, Oman, Malaysia and Bahrain. Additional Protocol to an existing agreement with Qatar has also been signed.
These MOUs enhance bilateral co-operation in management of migration and protection of labour welfare. Under these MOUs a Joint Working Group (JWG) has been constituted that meets regularly in order to resolve bilateral labour issues.