India to sign labour agreements with more countries

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New Delhi, Aug 8 (UNI) India will soon sign labour agreements with Malaysia, Oman and Bahrain for protection and welfare of Indian emigrants in these countries.

The agreements have already been negotiated by the Overseas Indian Affairs (OIA) Ministry.

Aimed at securing Indian emigrants against exploitation and abuse in the host countries, India has already signed such labour agreements with Jordan, Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait.

OIA ministry sources today said there was a proposal to sign MOUs with important labour receiving countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

"Finalization of these agreements have significance in the wake of reports of maltreatment of Indian workers in the Gulf and other countries," the sources said, while pointing out that the agreements are also designed to forge bilateral partnerships to expand overseas employment market for Indian workers.

There are about five migrant workers from India in the Gulf countries. Out of them, 1.2 million are in the UAE, 0.5 million in Kuwait, about 0.4 million in Oman, about 0.2 million in Qatar and 0.2 million in Bahrain.

Keeping in mind the welfare of professional and highly skilled workers, the government has finalised social security agreements with Germany, the Netherlands and the Czech republic.

The Ministry is negotiating similar agreements with France, Sweden, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Norway and Cyprus.

It has already signed a bilateral social security agreement with Belgium. The agreement protects the interests of expatriate workers by providing for exemption from social security contribution, allowing exportability of pension and others.

UNI SH RL HS1925

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