Asian nations to follow India in fixing min. wages for expatriates

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Dubai, Feb 11 (UNI) A day after India moved to fix minimum wages for its expatriate workforce, other Asian missions in the UAE have decided to follow suit.

India has already fixed a minimum wage of 1000 dinars for those employed in Bahrain and is negotiating similar arrangements for other Gulf nations.

''We have set up minimum wages for domestic workers. However, we have to do it for factory workers in a more organised manner, after consultation with local authorities,'' Sri Lankan Consul General Wasantha Senanayake was quoted by Khaleej Times as saying.

Echoing similar sentiments, a senior welfare officer at the Pakistan Embassy in Abu Dhabi said, ''Though no specific proposals have been floated for fixing of minimum wages, the Pakistan government is keenly supporting the minimum wage initiative for its unskilled workers.

''Pakistan is also yet to decide on issuing a policy statement in this connection. It will be done only after talks with the host government. Pakistan has many unskilled workers employed overseas, especially in the construction sector in the Gulf and we are keen on supporting them,'' he said.

Philippine Consul General Benito Valeriano said Manila had already imposed a minimum wage of 400 US dollars for domestic workers and other unskilled overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) since April 2007.

Bangladesh Consul General Mohammed Abdul Hye said discussions were on with the authorities concerned.

''The most important thing is the commitment of the countries who are receiving labour. Reciprocity and mutual recognition by sending and receiving countries is imperative as workers rights have to be protected,'' he said.

Nepal Embassy in Abu Dhabi was also assessing the working conditions of its workers to come up with suggestions to its government for fixing a minimum wage for labourers, Nepal Ambassador to UAE Arjun Bahadur Thapa said.


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