Nepal urges Saudi to help stranded workers

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 10, 2016-

The Embassy of Nepal in Riyadh has initiated discussions with Saudi Arabian government to help find new employers for the Nepali workers who have been left in the lurch following massive layoffs in the Gulf nation that has left tens of thousands of foreign workers jobless. 

Majority of Nepalis stranded in Saudi Arabia have expressed their desire to work at new places instead of returning home. 

So far, around 350 Nepali workers have approached the Nepali mission in Riyadh with wage-related grievances, according to the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE). 

 “Talks are in progress with Saudi ministry of labour to arrange for work permits for those who wish to work for new employers,” the embassy said in a statement. “Nepali workers will be provided all necessary assistance if they wish to return home.”

Saudi Arabia is the largest work destination for Nepali workers in terms of volume of workers the Gulf nation hired in the last one year. 

An estimated 600,000 Nepalis are believed to be working in the oil rich kingdom.  

The Saudi government too has announced its plans to facilitate stranded workers, including Nepalis, to return home, if they wish so, after providing their due salaries. 

Hundreds of companies in Saudi Arabia have closed down in recent months due to slowed growth as the kingdom suffers the effect of lower oil prices.MoLE spokesperson Govinda Mani Bhurtel said the ministry was closely watching the effect of layoffs on Nepali workers in Saudi Arabia.

“The situation is under control so far, as the layoffs did not have much impact on Nepali workers. If things get worse, we will do the needful to bring them home,” said Bhurtel.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Monday had instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take immediate measures to rescue Nepali workers stranded in Saudi Arabia.

PM Dahal had asked Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi to coordinate with Nepali mission in the Gulf nation and create a conducive environment for those who want to return home in the wake of economic downturn there. 

Published: 10-08-2016 11:22

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