Indian labourers abroad getting government help: Swaraj

New Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said that the Narendra Modi government was well aware of the hardships Indian labourers faced in foreign countries and was working for their betterment.

Answering a question on the issue in the Lok Sabha, Swaraj said the Indian embassies in countries accounting for the majority of labourers from India have been advised to provide all possible guidance and care to all Indians.

“All (Indian) labourers are being looked after well in all countries,” she said.

“Prime minister and I are monitoring the situation (in this regard),” she told the house.

Amid the vocifereous protests from the opposition members against union minister V.K. Singh, Swaraj said whenever the prime minister addressed Indians abroad, he told them that the country’s diplomatic missions would help them in any situation.

The minister said the government was also working with authorities in Saudi Arab where No Objection Certificate (NoC) was required from the employing company in case a labourer wanted to leave the country.

“We are in discussion with the government there as employer, from whose clutches one wants to get away, would never issue NoC to the employee,” she said.

Swaraj also said the government was thinking of getting the Emigration Act, 1983, amended and the Emigration Check Required (ECR) provision changed as it had become quite old.

“We want to bring in a new act in place of it,” she told the house.

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