VK Singh
VK Singh visits Saudi Arabia to help stranded, laid-off Indian workers Picture: Minister of State for External Affairs General (Retired) VK Singh.IANS

The Minister of State for External Affairs General (retired) VK Singh is currently on a visit to Saudi Arabia to resolve issues relating to "repatriation" and relocation of stranded Indian workers in the Middle-Eastern country. The minister had also visited the country last month.

Around 10,000 migrant workers from India have been rendered jobless after being laid-off from three companies in Saudi Arabia. Singh reached the country few days ago and visited one of the migrant camps in Jeddah on Thursday, accompanied by Indian diplomats.

"He listened to the concerns of migrant workers. He will meet Saudi authorities to resolve the issues," an Indian diplomat in Riyadh was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.

The officials said that helping the stranded Indian workers was of prime importance. They added that after a discussion with Singh, the Saudi authorities have agreed to speed up the process of repatriation of the workers willing to return and to assist in relocating others to different companies in Saudi Arabia.

"The important thing to remember is (that) no third option is available to Indian workers belonging to these three companies. So MoS Gen V K Singh is in Saudi Arabia because there are some issues which need to be addressed, so that the retrenched workers either seek alternate employment or return to India. Because some people do not want to exercise either of these two options, so he is there to try and reach out to them — to impress upon them to cooperate and facilitate in this process," MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

The officials said that the Saudi authorities have also ordered to maintain proper hygiene and provide all the basic amenities and medical facilities in all the camps where the Indians workers are currently staying. They have also said that the Indian complainants can approach labour courts in compliance with the Saudi law to file their claims.