Over 4 lakh migrants returned to India during Covid-19

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The Minister also told the Lower House that a total of 1,41,172 Indians left the country to work in six Gulf countries between June 2020 and December 2021…reports Asian Lite News

When the pandemic hit the world in 2020, a total of 4.23 lakh Indian workers returned from ECR (Emigration Check Required) nations like UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar–between June 2020 and December 2021, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan told the Parliament on Friday.

In reply to a question in the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament), Muraleedharan said of the total 4.23 lakh Indian workers who returned from ECR countries, 1,52,126 were from UAE, 1,18,064 from Saudi Arabia, 46,003 from Oman, 32,361 from Qatar, 51,206 from Kuwait, 11,749 from Bahrain, 2,243 from Jordan, 342 from Iraq, 210 from Lebanon, 7 from Indonesia, 9,228 from Malaysia, 18 from Thailand and one each from Sudan and Afghanistan.

There are 18 countries for which emigration clearance is required by those travelling for work. These countries include Afghanistan, Bahrain, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Thailand, UAE and Yemen.

The Minister also told the Lower House that a total of 1,41,172 Indians left the country to work in six Gulf countries between June 2020 and December 2021. Of this total, 51,496 went to Qatar, 36,451 to Saudi Arabia, 13,567 to UAE, 21,340 to Oman, 10,160 to Kuwait, 8,158 to Bahrain.

He said that the Ministry of External Affairs and all Indian missions in the Gulf were constantly in contact with the Gulf governments to maintain the workforce, guarantee their wellbeing, and facilitate financial payments owed to them.

The Minister said that the MEA in collaboration with the Ministry of Civil Aviation facilitated the safe repatriation of citizens stranded abroad to India during the COVID-19 pandemic through the Vande Bharat Missions (VBM).

Additionally, the Government of India launched the Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support (SWADES) portal as a joint initiative of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE), the Ministry of Civil Aviation, and the MEA, aimed to create a database of returning citizens based on their skill sets and experience, who lost their jobs and were stuck overseas and have returned back to India through the VBM, he said.

The Minister also told the House that as per information received from the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, all the stakeholders have been given access to the SWADES candidate database with uploading of details on the Aatmanirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping (ASEEM) portal for employer connect under different sectors. (India News Network)

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