Kerala shows serious concern over large scale deportation of expatriate workers from Kuwait

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Thiruvananthapuram: Setting aside political differences, Congress-led UDF government and LDF opposition headed by CPI(M) in Kerala on Friday expressed serious concern over large scale deportation of expatriate workers from Kuwait and asked the Centre to intervene in the situation.

Replying to an adjournment motion notice by the LDF in the Assembly, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the situation in Kuwait arising out of its policy of indigenisation of labour sector was far more serious than what had happened in Saudi Arabia.

“When Saudi Arabia initiated a similar policy, the Government intervened effectively and the Gulf state had given time till July 3 for the affected workers to fly back home without any hassles. We expect a similar intervention by the Centre in the case of Kuwait also,” Chandy said.

It was the illegal migrants who faced problems in Saudi Arabia but in Kuwait even those having valid visas were facing deportation, he said. The state government is in touch with the Overseas Indian Affairs and the External Affairs Ministries and expect that the issue would be taken up through diplomatic channels.

Expressing similar sentiments, state Minister for Non-Resident Keralites K C Jospeh said what Kerala wanted was a “Saudi model” resolution to the problem in Kuwait. Earlsier, seeking leave for an adjournment, K V Abdul Khadar (CPI-M), said a large number of Indian workers, especially Keralites, are living in great anxiety in Kuwait as there had been frequent raids on the workers camps to detect and deport emigrants.

Though the Centre had a separate ministry to look after the welfare of NRIs, no effective step had been taken to ensure that the Indian workers in Kuwait did not face any harassment, he said.

Winding up his reply, the Chief Minister said the Government was willing to hold a comprehensive discussion on the fallout of the indigeninsation on Keralite workers in the
Gulf during the current session itself.

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