In response to Saudi Arabias Nitaqat law,under which several Indian migrants working in the Gulf country face deportation,the West Bengal government has so far furnished details of 140 workers from the state,currently stationed there,so as to avoid deportation.
The Saudi government has extended the deadline of deportation of all illegal expatriate workers from july 3 to November 3.
Under the Nitaqat law,all workers need valid work permit to work in Saudi Arabia. The law stipulates that for every 10 expatriate workers,a company doing business in Saudi Arabia will have to take at least one national from that country. After getting the identity proof from the country of their origin,a worker is supposed to report to the embassy there who will provide Emergency Certificate,which will enable his stay there.
So far we have obtained details of 140 people from the MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) and we have supplied their identity proofs to the Indian embassy in Riyadh. There could be more people from Bengal in that country but we are here to provide all help. I am in constant touch with them, Kolkata Municipal Corporation Commissioner Khalil Ahmed told The Indian Express. Ahmed has been appointed the nodal officer to handle this situation.
Officials in the foreign national registration department of the government say it is difficult sometimes to trace these people as the details the MEA has been sending about them only include their name and the district they belong to.
About a week ago,we received a letter from the MEA which asked us to provide identity proof of about 10 people working in Saudi Arabia. The letter mentioned only the names and the district in this case Murshidabad that they belonged to. Is it possible to find out addresses of such people? the official told The Indian Express.
Among the 9,000 workers engaged in various sectors in Saudi Arabia,the second largest workforce there is from West Bengal after Uttar Pradesh,followed by Kerala.