The External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said the King of Saudi Arabia himself has directed his officers to help the thousands of Indian workers stuck in the Gulf kingdom, including giving them free passage back home.
Informing the Rajya Sabha the minister has said that “The Saudi King has instructed his officials to solve the problem in two days. General V.K. Singh is there. He met the Labour Minister there yesterday (Wednesday), he said instructions have been given to give the Indian workers exit visa; they will send them back in their own flights, at their own expense.”
She said: “They have also permitted that those who are found suitable may be given another job.”
Regarding the dues of workers, the minister said: “Every worker will file their claim with the labour office, and the claims will be settled even after they come back.”
She also added the Saudi administration was arranging for providing food and other assistance to the camps where Indians were registered.
“Besides, they offered to arrange for medical care, food, and sanitation in the camps where Indians are,” she said.
The minister thanked the Saudi King for the assistance.
She said that “I want to thank Saudi rulers on behalf of India and the House. I also thank the Prime Minister. This is happening because of the relations he made during his visit to Saudi Arabia.”
On the other hand, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad welcomed the move by saying “This is a very good thing. we must thank them on behalf of people of India.”
Some 7,700 Indian workers employed with a company in Saudi Arabia are facing a financial crisis after it shut down and laid off workers. Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh is in Riyadh to sort out the problem, including arranging to bring back those workers who want to return.