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Conference on Indian Expatriates in the Gulf Countries

Herald - March 30, 2008

Centre to amend emigration laws to help jobseekers
BY HERALD REPORTER
PANJIM, MARCH 29 – The Centre will shortly be amending emigration laws after signing agreements with those countries which recruit Indian labour intensively. Speaking at the one-day conference on “Indian expatriates in the Gulf countries in the city, where he made the above statement, Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said efforts were being made to ensure that Indian expatriates seeking employment abroad were not duped by unscrupulous agents. Ravi disclosed that the proposed amendments will provide for compulsory imprisonment of recruiting agents who collect huge sums of money by luring gullible job seekers. He also stated that India was planning to open its centres in Dubai and other Gulf countries soon, to facilitate expatriates. India has already entered into memoranda of understanding (MoU) with UAE, Kuwait and Qatar .

India is also finalizing agreements with Malaysia and Bahrain so that wages of Indian workers are fixed and their salaries remitted in banks directly like in the United Arab Emirates besides evolving some redressal mechanism systems before recruiting Indians there, he said. The Union Minister warned job seekers to beware of bogus recruiting agents and asked them to check their authenticity before engaging their services. The ministry has uploaded information related to recruiting agents and procedures on its website. There are about 2000 recognised agents in India , he informed. He advised youth aspiring to work in Europe to go through registered agents and have all valid documents attested by the embassy.

The conference, held under the aegis of the office of the Goa NRI Affairs Commissioner, was chaired by Eduardo Faleiro Commissioner for NRI Affairs. He insisted that there should be deterrent punishment for people running fraudulent recruitment agencies. Among those present were Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, Secretary for NRI Affairs K S Singh and Chief Secretary J P Singh. Nine Indian expatriates were felicitated with Community Service Leadership Awards by the Union minister. These include Pedro Correia, Gabriel Crasto, Alfredo D’Souza, Dr Jaganath Chodankar, Alex Coelho, Damiao Santos, Dr Mario de Souza, Celso Fernandes, Simon D’Silva, Ramnath Mavlingcar, Rockson Rodrigues and Suman Khurade.

Gomantak Times - March 30, 2008

Overseas Indian Centre in
Dubai Soon: Vayalar
BY A STAFF REPORTER


PANJIM: Union Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, Vayalar Ravi yesterday said that his Ministry will soon establish an Overseas Indian Centre in the Indian Mission in Dubai.This centre will provide legal, medical and financial counseling services to the Indian expatriates in the Gulf. He said that the protection and welfare of Indian expatriates in the Gulf requires the commitment of the governments of the host countries. The Minister said that he had made concerted efforts to enter into MoU with the major labour receiving countries for bilateral cooperation towards protection and welfare of our emigrants.The Union Minister was speaking after inaugurating conference of Indian Expatriates in the gulf countries organised by the office of the Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs here.

The Minister said that he has made concerted efforts to enter into MoU with the major labour receiving countries for bilateral cooperation towards protection and welfare of emigrants.The Union Minister said that his ministry has established an Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC) as a not-for-profit-trust in partnership with Confederation of Indian Industry. The Centre will be a one stop shop for serving the interests of the Overseas Indian investment into India and facilitate business to business partnerships by providing authentic and real time information. He said to make higher education in India, accessible to the children of overseas Indians and promote India as an education hub, his ministry launched a scholarship scheme in 2006-2007. The Ministry provides 100 scholarship each year to children of Indian expatriates to undertake undergraduate courses in different disciplines in India. The Ministry, he said , had also initiated the process of amending the Emigration act. It has also taken up implementation of e-governance in emigration to make it simple, quick, effective, transparent and accountable by linking stakeholders on common platform. The Minister said he has taken initiative to establish Overseas Indian Workers Welfare Fund. He assured that his ministry will be happy to support the Government of Goa in all its endeavours.

Chief Minister Digambar Kamat said that the state government would send the award winning Mando troupe at the Mando festival to the gulf to create a feeling that the Government of Goa also thinks of them on cultural front. He reiterated his commitment not to take any decision against Goa and Goans and that he will not compromise interest of Goa at any cost. Appreciating the efforts the Department of NRI Affairs for trying to create an environment for Indian expatriates to visit Goa and support the state in whatever way they can Kamat pledged his support for the good efforts taken by the Department. Commissioner for NRI Affairs, Eduardo Faleiro appreciated the efforts of the Government of India to regulate recruitment of our labour abroad so as to provide out workers with higher wages and improved working conditions as has already been done by several other countries.

He said that many of the problems troubling our workers abroad are created by recruiting agents in India itself. Faleiro gave the Union Minister a CD recording of one of the performances of the group “Ekvatt” of Goan expatriates in Portugal. He said that it was an excellent cultural group and requested the Union Minister to invite the group to visit and perform in India. Faleiro also requested the Union Minister to use his good offices so that so that a chair in Hindi and Indian Culture is funded by the Government of India at the Institute of Oriental Studies in Lisbon. He pointed out that the UK had the British Council in Portugal, Germany the Goethe Institute, France the Alliance Francaise and China the Institute Confucius but India has no academic presence whatsoever in Portugal.

Community Service Leadership Awards were presented on the occasion to Pedro Aulona Renato Correia, Gabriel Crasto, Alfred Loyola D’souza (Bahrain), Dr Jaganath Ramnath Chodankar, Alex Wilson Coelho Damiao Cosme Santos(Kuwait), Dr Mario Carmo de Souza and Celso Vincent Andre2Fernandes (Oman), Simon Xavier D’Silva (Quatar), Ramnath Arjuna Mavlingcar (UAE), Rockson Rufus Rodrigues (Dubai) and Suman Anand Kurade (Delhi). Chief Secretary J P Singh and Chairman of Overseas Employment Agency Goa Vice Admiral John D’Silva (Retd) also spoke Affairs, K S Singh earlier welcomed while Director, NRI Affairs, U. D. Kamat proposed a vote of thanks.

Navhind Times - March 30, 2008

Indian facilitation centre in Dubai soon: Vayalar
NT Staff Reporter
The Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, Mr Vayalar Ravi today announced that there would be an Indian centre in Dubai soon to provide legal, medical and financial counselling services to the Indian expatriates in the Gulf.Speaking at the conference on the Indian expatriates in Gulf countries held at a city hotel and organised by the office of the Commission for NRI Affairs, Mr Ravi said that his ministry has established an Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre as a not-for-profit trust in partnership with Confederation of Indian Industry and it would be a one-stop shop for the diaspora seeking to invest in India and facilitate business and business partnerships by providing reliable and real-time information. He said to make higher education accessible to the children of overseas Indians his ministry has launched a scholarship scheme in 2006-07 in which 100 scholarship are provided each year to children of expatriates to undertake undergraduate courses in different disciplines in the country.

Favouring an amendment to the Emigration Act, the Union minister informed that the amendment was on the cards. He said that this amendment was needed as the act was getting outdated now. Lauding the role played by NRIs in the development of their country, the Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs promised to do everything in his power to help streamline immigration procedures and look after the interests of the Indian expatriates all over the world. He informed that his ministry is proactive in streamlining procedures to make them simple and was going for e-governance in emigration to make it simple, quick, effective, transparent and accountable by linking stakeholders on common platform. Dwelling upon on the works his ministry had done for the expatriate community, he promised that as a minister he would keep a check on and prosecute the agents who exploit the people, especially from the semi-skilled pool of workers, and help those agents who help the people. Also present were for the conference the Chief Minister, Mr Digambar Kamat, the NRI commissioner, Mr Eduardo Faleiro secretary, NRI affairs, Mr K S Singh, the chairman of the Oversees Employment Agency of Goa, and the director of NRI Affairs, Mr UD Kamat.

Mr Kamat appreciated the efforts of the NRI affairs department in creating an environment for expatriates to come back and invest in the state and pledged his support to the NRIs. He informed the government would send an award winning Mando troupe at the Mando festival in the Gulf. Mr Faleiro lauded the efforts of the Union government to regulate recruitment of our labour abroad so as to provide our workers with higher wages and improved working conditions as has already been done by several other countries. He said many of the problems troubling our workers abroad are created by recruiting agents in India itself. Community service leadership awards were presented to Mr Pedro Aulona Renato Correia, Mr Gabriel Crasto, Mr Alfred Loyola DSouza (Bahrain), Dr Jaganath Ramnath Chodankar, Mr Alex Wilson Coelho, Mr Damiao Cosme Santos (Kuwait), Dr Mario Carmo de Souza and Mr Celso Vincent Andre Fernandes (Oman), Mr Simon Xavier D’Silva (Qatar), Mr Ramnath Arjuna Mavlingcar (UAE), Mr Rockson Rufus Rodrigues (Dubai) and Ms Suman Anand Kurade (Delhi).

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