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Agents responsible for exploitation of workers: Minister

Written by: Staff
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Dubai, May 5 (UNI) Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, Vayalar Ravi has urged Indian workers to stop violent protests here and accused recruitment agents for their plight.

He said the nexus of dishonest agents in India and Gulf countries was responsible for the exploitation of unskilled and semi-skilled labourers and legislation was on the way to jail such agents for cheating.

''The first priority is to break this racket. This can be achieved if governments of various countries work in close coordination, Mr Ravi said at a meeting of the Indian Business and Professional Group (IBPG) here.

He said his priority was to sort out the problems of the estimated 400,000 Indian blue-collar workers in Gulf countries.

Indian workers abroad were known as peace-loving and hardworking, he said people, and urged them not to indulge in violent protests but contact the Indian diplomatic mission for assistance.

Mr Ravi said licences of 120 agents were cancelled in the last three years because of their poor records. There were about 4,580 registered recruiting agents of which 2,500 were in active business.

He will be meeting UAE Labour Minister Dr Ali bin Abdullah Al Kaabi tomorrow to discuss the issues of Indian workers.

Mr Ravi also noted that there was a plan to start Pravasi Indian University in India for imparting good education exclusively to the Non-Resident Indians(NRIs).

Community activists presented a memorandum to the minister, who is on a Gulf tour, urging the introduction of identity cards for Gulf NRIs, availability of return air tickets for stranded and destitute NRIs against a deposit and self-employment scheme for Gulf returnees.

UNI XC KD AT VV1647

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