Saudis find new Indian labor system ‘unfair’

Saudis find new Indian labor system ‘unfair’

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Shams Ahsan
Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — The e-Migrate system, which was launched by the Indian government on June 1 to protect its workers from fraudulent job offers, has come in for criticism from some Saudi officials.

The system, which is an initiative of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA), makes it mandatory for employers as well as recruitment agents to register at the e-Migrate site (http://www.emigrate.gov.in) and upload contracts to be able to hire Indian workers.

However, Fahd Al-Hammadi, chairman of the contractors committee at the Council of Saudi Chambers, criticized the new condition as “unfair” and called for recruitment of required workers from other countries including Bangladesh and Nepal.

“We have the right to recruit any other nationals who would like to work in the Kingdom,” Al-Hammadi was quoted as saying by Al-Sharq Arabic daily on Sunday.

He reportedly asked the Labor Ministry to stop issuing visas for Indian workers.

“We are not trying to stop the recruitment process, but focusing on regulating it and making it more transparent,” Hemant Kotalwar, Charge d’Affaires at Indian Embassy in Riyadh, told Saudi Gazette.

Economic analyst Fadel Al-Bouainain told a section of the Arabic press that India does not want to export skilled workers because of the improved economic conditions so it has set “arbitrary recruitment conditions.”

Kotalwar clarified that India is not a labor exporting country. He also said that the e-Migrate system has not affected the flow of Indian workers abroad. “In fact, the number of Indians in Saudi Arabia has grown from 2.75 million to 2.93 million in one year,” he added.

Defending the e-Migrate system, Indian Consul General B.S. Mubarak said that it will help “prevent substitution of contracts whereby some recruiting agencies in India make workers sign a contract with higher wage structure and when they reach Saudi Arabia they realize that their real wage structure is different.”

He said the e-Migrate system would ensure that workers are not duped and are aware of their wages and working conditions before they depart from India.

“Presently the consulate receives complaints from workers about non-payment of salaries, non-renewal of Iqamas (residence permits), and adverse working conditions,” said Mubarak, adding that “the percentage of such complains are very limited compared to the number of Indians working in Saudi Arabia.” However, in many cases it does take a long time to resolve such disputes, he added.

The e-Migrate system basically covers workers under ECR (Emigration Check Required) status.

Before taking up job assignments abroad, workers will have to go through the Protector of Emigrants (POE) offices located in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Jaipur. POE offices check whether job offers and salaries have been verified by the e-Migrate system. Verification failure will stop workers from traveling abroad.

The e-Migrate system fully automates the operations of offices of Protector of Emigrants (POE) and Protector General of Emigrants (PGOE). It also electronically links Indian missions, PGOE, POE, employers, recruitment agents, emigrants and insurance agencies.

41 COMMENTS

  1. Well, I do not find any problem in that system. It is always better to keep things clear before everyone rather than taking a blind step.

  2. It’s very good system to ensure any country’s citizens working abroad from fraud elements in both side it’s not unfair it’s very fair. If you want to hire employees what is the problem submitting contact details?

  3. Ofcourse chamber of Commerce will object. In this way they will have to give exact salary as written in contract. Anything that wil stop cheating they will call it unfair.

  4. It is good strategy for government of India, Saudi Arabia should take it or leave it, because it is a waste of time sending workers to a country that are not following its labor laws and having fraudulent and swindler Saudi employers. with many unresolved many labor cases, and not paying benefits, retirement fees. etc..

  5. Fahd Al-Hammadi, recruiting expats is not a rights, it is a privilege. And a privilege can be taken away if it is being abused.

    Moreover, that is the law of India, respect it. The government of India has an obligation to protect their citizens from the agencies and employers.

  6. Most of the time the domestic workers always have issue with salary. The system will help protect the rights of employee and employer. Then what’s wrong with the system ?

  7. @Nasser Gorsi .. The problem is that they will not be able to exploit Indian workers the way they are used to .. and that is completely not how Muslims should be.(unislamic)

  8. It is always better for employer and employee to be transparent. This sytem is not asking anything beyond bilateral information, for which both the parties have right to know.

  9. POE offices check whether job offers and salaries have been verified by the e-Migrate system. Verification failure will stop workers from traveling abroad. So, this will increase the corruption.
    Unless POE officers not bribed, they will not verify it. Disaster. Agents will charge more to get done all the new procedure.

    • Do you know how lengthy process the labor office in Saudi Arabia takes to solve fake huroob (runaway)or any other labour dispute ? This system makes it all transparent.

      Its time to get up from chair and burn some fat, No pain No gain.

    • How long would this procedure take to get the green signal?
      I have been waiting for my Visa, though it has been passed on February last.

  10. Beside ,based on the title when it says SAUDI’S ARE NOT HAPPY WITH INDIAN LABOR SYSTEM” then there is no shame in it as ALL INDIANS AND EXPATS ARE NOT HAPPY WITH OUR SAUDI SYSTEM FOR BOTH ENGINEERS DOCTORS OTHER EMPLOYEES AND ALSO LABORS KINDLY EXPLAIN THIS WHEN WE PUT VAGUE RULES WHICH ARE NON SENSE AND WHEN OTHER COUNTRY PUTS WE BLAME THEM IT IS US NOT THE EXPATS “

  11. Biggest joke of the year by indian diplomat that india is not a labor exporting country
    so how about 2.9 million indians doing in saudi alone we didnt count other countries..

  12. It is understandable and but proper for Chamber’s Contractor Committee Chairman, Mr. Fahd Al-Hammadi, to protect the interests of his members. But objecting to registration of employers and recruitment agents to this Indian e-Migrate website is ridiculous. Not unless there is something illegal or unethical with the registration that ordinary people like me would not know. Not unless, there are instances of employment contacts’ substitution when the recruits arrived. I understand that both countries’ concerned offices are doing this to serve their citizens, what is vague to us uninformed is the cause of the objection.

  13. Govt Rule is OK. but what about Indian Embassy executives??? People who are sitting in Indian Embassy and VFS global are asking money every time to give approval… Can India Govt look into this urgently..

  14. its good but this system is directed towards employee right not the employer right ….what about the labour standards that are hiring from India regarding their required qualifications authenticity, technical experience and knowledge.most of the workers are rejected from the labour market of India and then send to the Saudi Arabia.

  15. “Presently the consulate receives complaints from workers about non-payment of salaries, non-renewal of Iqamas (residence permits), and adverse working conditions,” said Mubarak,

    Rightly said. Well done..

  16. Unfair because e-Migrate system takes so long giving clearness to emloyer.
    we know that visa get expire in 2-3 months after issue. this system taking a lot time giving confirmation.
    And Many recruiters r not internet savys in gulf so they r shifting to other countries where there is no such system.
    i hope it clear to u all.

    • Whatever the case …its good.Actually the saudi government should make its own check for its nationals before agreeing to their demands of acquiring labors from abroad.This way they can have records in hand when asked for by e-migrate system.

  17. They should also have a system where they can take complaints from employees and ex-employees about the employers and then ban the employers from hiring any more people from India.

  18. A very good step by the Indian Government, but they have to update the information related to the sample of employment contract for KSA to ensure the amended articles are updated such as 60 days notice period, passport to be with the employee, etc.
    Also the main issues faced by the some work force for the iqama and health insurance to be included to be borne by the employer.

  19. Transparency is required in all stages, be it recruitment deal, compensation package,service condition etc.
    Its a big joke that India do not export manpower [!!!] then what about this approx 3 million worker – only in KSA & about 30million all over the world?
    Yes, KSA authority may think alternate recruitment source where Bangladesh could be a very potential place to get at-least equally skilled persons whom can contribute to the well being of KSA.
    But again good working condition must prevail. KSA authority are requested to pay importance into this point.

  20. @Masroor.
    Sir you have lack of knowledge and information about the visa expiry. The work visas validity is 2 years. Not 2-3 months. Pls correct. Thanks

  21. I think this is a good idea. People’s lives are affected by lies and corruption, including unsuspecting workers. Anyone who has a problem with this obviously has something to hide. Now if only a way could be found to protect the workers after they arrive.

  22. This law is good which has been introduced all expats came to the country through visa which was provided by the employer in fraud manner and later the expat is send to his home country with a ban where his crime is not there and even he or she suffers . This system is not a shame but is good system as a true Saudi a Saudi sponsor shall not misuse any one. Iam ready to go and give my details why cant other saudi’s have issue in this we bring them so we should support them not use and throw .we behave before garbage and ill treated them.when the system is getting perfect there should be no regrets at all

  23. There are lots of problem in E-migrate system. The software is not user friendly. If Indian government is really serious about the fate of the Indians in KSA, they should have every Indian registered on their Embassy site and if anyone approaches them with any complaint, then the Indian authorities must take care of him/her, which is not the case. Indian Authorities must have some arrangements with Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Interior of KSA to resolve such issue. Clause no 18 & 21 of the Employment agreement is not acceptable by Saudi Authorities and will never be acceptable, they authenticate the Employment agreement after striking these two clause. Indian Labour Ministry has made it one way traffic. They should learn from the Philippine Labour Law. – They should fight for the part payment (10%-20%) of medical expenses by the employee. They should fight for increasing Food Allowance, etc.

  24. This system is friendly for both the employer and employee as far as transparency is concerned.
    It will be very helpful and secured.

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