Millennium Post

New Saudi work policy to impact thousands of Indians

Thousands of Indians, especially Malayalis employed in Saudi Arabia, may be impacted by a new work policy of the kingdom that seeks to reserve a certain percentage of jobs for locals.

According to the new Nitaqat policy – or Saudisation programme - of the kingdom, 10 per cent of jobs are to be reserved for locals. The policy is aimed at expanding employment opportunities for Saudi nationals.

There are over two million Indians working in Saudi Arabia, including 576,000 from Kerala alone.

External affairs minister Salman Khurshid said on Monday evening there was no need to panic and the Indian government would provide assistance to Indians forced to return from Saudi Arabia.

‘If somebody has to go to another country, he has to satisfy the rules of that country. But if there is inconvenience caused to any Indian citizens, then whatever assistance we can give, we will provide,’ Khurshid assured.

‘The Kerala government is setting up help desks at the three international airports at Thiruvananthapuram, Calicut and Kochi and 24-hour call centres to help people in distress,’ an official of the department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs said.
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