Govt considering fund for distressed Indian workers

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New Delhi, Oct 23 (UNI) The Government today said it was considering a proposal to set up an 'Indian Community Welfare Fund' for providing funding support to workers in distress abroad.

Giving this information, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi, in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, said the fund would give support to the Indian missions in the Emigration Clearance Required (ECR) countries for the welfare of the stranded workers abroad.

Mr Ravi told the House that while there was no data available regarding the number of stranded workers in various Gulf countries, the missions gave necessary assistance to such workers, including deportation back to India, whenever overseas Indian were stranded.

India, he said, was the highest recipient of remittances from abroad, estmated at more than 27 billion US dollars and about 40 per cent of it was the estimated remittances received from overseas Indian workers, including semi-skilled and unskilled workers in the Gulf.

Replying to another question, the minister said the remittances from Overseas Indians was estimated at 27 billion US dollars and were in the nature of private funds transferred by individuals for various purposes including to meet the consumption expenditure of their families back home.

Asked by members about the number of Indians jailed abroad, the minister said the details were being collected from Indian missions/Posts abroad and would be laid on the Table of the House.

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