BJP demands halting of Nitaqat law in Saudi Arabia

New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) Demanding a halt in the implementation of the Nitaqat law in Saudi Arabia, the BJP Saturday said here that it would work against Indian interests.

“The Nitaqat scheme shall primarily work against the Indian interests. A minimum of two to three years moratorium to implement it is demanded,” said BJP’s Convenor of Overseas Affairs Vijay Jolly.

Under Nitaqat, it is mandatory for local companies to hire one Saudi national for every 10 migrant workers. Over 300,000 firms in Saudi Arabia reportedly do not employ any locals and the Nitaqat policy seeks to deal firmly with this.

Indian missions in Saudi Arabia are scrambling to help over 55,000 Indian workers leave the kingdom in adherence to the new policy. Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid is in Jeddah to discuss matters of bilateral interest, including the Nitaqat law.

The Indian embassy in Riyadh and the consulate in Jeddah and other centres in Dammam and the Eastern Province have issued a second lot of 27,000 emergency certificates to enable Indian citizens to leave Saudi Arabia for home.

The kingdom had last month announced a three-month grace period, which expires July 3, after which they will begin to deport illegal workers.

Jolly said: “The Indian government should have taken adequate steps well in advance to protect the Indian labour force working in Saudi Arabia the Foreign Ministry along with Ministry of Overseas Affairs has failed in its primary task.”

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