Govt proposes Overseas Workers Welfare Fund

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New Delhi, May 14 (UNI) The Overseas Indian Affairs (OIA) Ministry is seriously examining a proposal to establish an "Overseas Workers Welfare Fund" which will seek to provide on site, off site and return and resettlement services.

OIA ministry sources said here today the scheme was mainly aimed at helping Indian workers in the Middle East.

There are an estimated 4.5 million Indian workers in West Asia.

Sources said the government, as a policy, always discouraged illegal migration and had taken several steps to curb the same.

It was pointed out that small number of illegal workers were deported under amnesty schemes of the host governments. When such amnesty schemes were announced, efforts were made by the Indian Missions concerned to regularise the stay, residence and employment of such workers.

In cases where it was not possible to do so, some workera were deported through issuance of emergency certificates. The mission rendered the necessary assistance for the return of such workers.

UNI SH RL KN1841

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