Abu Dhabi, Nov 22 (ANI): President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Monday assured the 1.75 million-strong expatriate Indian community here of all help, and added that the government in New Delhi is taking up their cause with the UAE to redress their grievances.
The Indian community in the UAE is the largest expatriate community in this country. The Gulf region is home to over five million-strong Indian Diaspora, which contributes to strengthening India's multi-faceted ties with West Asia.
Remittances to India from the UAE in 2008-09 were about 12 billion dollars, accounting for a third of all money sent to India from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
"I am aware of the challenges and aspirations of the expatriate Indian community. The Government of India and the UAE Government are engaged in continuous dialogue on various matters concerning Indian labour," President Patil said while speaking at the India Social and Cultural Centre (ISCC).
"There is already an existing Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in India and the Ministry of Labour in the UAE. New schemes have been proposed by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs to ensure the welfare of Indian workers in the UAE," she said.
President Patil said she would be launching the Indian Workers' Resource Centre, which will provide a 24-hour help line and counseling services for Indian workers in the UAE.
"This will be an important step to take the grievance redressal mechanism to the doorsteps of the large number of Indians, who are in distress and in need of urgent assistance," she said.
Impressed by the achievements of the ISCC here, President Patil said: "The Indian community has accomplished this task of establishing an impressive institution, reflects a strong sense of responsibility you feel, as members of the Indian community."
The UAE is a significant trading and energy security partner, and bilateral trade was valued at 43.4 billion dollar in 2009-10. In 2009-10, the UAE had emerged as India's top export destination, accounting for 13.41 per cent of the country's total exports. The country is also among the top five suppliers of crude oil to India. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)