RIYADH: India will issue at least 27,000 more emergency certificates to enable its citizens to leave Saudi Arabia for home after a new labour policy came into force in the Gulf Kingdom.
The Indian embassy here has released a second list of verification and delivery process of emergency certificates (ECs) for all Indian nationals who have applied at the embassy and at other collection centers across Saudi Arabia.
“The schedule currently announced is for the second batch of delivery upto 24,000 EC applications received in Riyadh and above 3,700 EC applications received in Eastern Province,” the embassy said in a statement.
“The schedule for verification and delivery of subsequent batches of applications will be announced shortly,” it said.
In the first batch, 15,000 EC applications were received at collection centers across Saudi Arabia.
There has been a rush for the emergency travel documents with about 60,000 applicants looking for one, amid concerns about possible job losses after the new ‘Nitaqat’ labour law comes into effect.
The ‘Nitaqat’ law makes it mandatory for local companies to hire one Saudi national for every 10 migrant workers.
There has been widespread perception that the new policy will lead to denial of job opportunities for a large number of Indians working there. Over two million Indians are currently working in Saudi Arabia.
Salman Khurshid leaves for Saudi Arabia
Meanwhile, Indian external affairs minister Salman Khurshid on Friday left for Saudi Arabia on the invitation of his Saudi counterpart Prince Saud Al-Faisal.
Khurshid’s visit, from May 24-27, would be the first by an Indian external affairs minister in the last five years. In 2008, then foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee had visited the Gulf Kingdom.
Khurshid will hold discussions with his Saudi counterpart Prince Saud Al-Faisal on bilateral, regional and international issues and will also call on the leadership of Saudi Arabia.
During his talks with Saudi officials, Khurshid is expected to raise the issue of ‘Nitaqat’ law.