By Irfan Mohammed
JEDDAH — A Nepalese parliamentary delegation is visiting Saudi Arabia to assess the situation of workers from the country, particularly those who are laid off in recent months.
The delegation held wide-ranging talks with Minister of Labor and Social Development Ali Al-Ghafis, Undersecretary for International Affairs Ziad Al-Sayegh, Undersecretary for Customer Affairs Adnan Naeed and other high-ranking officials of the ministry in Riyadh on Monday.
The delegation, from Nepal’s parliamentary committee on international relations and labor headed by senior parliamentarian Prabhu Sha, drew the attention of the Saudi authorities to several issues concerning Nepalese workers in the Kingdom and sought redressal for them.
The delegation discussed the problems of thousands of retrenched Nepalese workers, especially in the construction sector, according to a top diplomat at the Nepalese Embassy in Riyadh.
“The delegation requested Saudi officials to expedite travel procedures for the retrenched workers after settlement of their arrears. The parliamentarians also briefed the officials about various problems faced by the workers due to the non-renewal of their residency permits,”Ananda Kumar Sharma told Saudi Gazette.
He said the delegation also pointed out the unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of the mortal remains of dead workers.
Sharma said the Himalayan kingdom is working out a mechanism to safeguard the interests of the Nepalese domestic workers as well as their Saudi employers.
The delegation will also travel to Dammam to meet with the Nepalese working in the eastern region.
Saudi Arabia hosts about 400,000 Nepalese workers and most of them are employed in construction and maintenance and operation fields.