Riyad defers Nitaqat order by two months

Thiruvananthapuram: Riyad governor Amir Khalid Bin Bandar Bin Abdul Aziz has issued order deferring the process of catching illegal residents as part of the Nitaqat policy. 

The Saudization programme called Nitaqat came into force on March 27. According to the new Nitaqat policy - or Saudisation programme - of the kingdom, 10 percent of jobs are to be reserved for locals. The policy is aimed at expanding employment opportunities for Saudi nationals.

In the wake of tightening of labour laws in Saudi Arabia that may lead to job loss for Indians in that country, Kerala Wednesday set up a ministerial committee to prepare a rehabilitation package for the diaspora.

Briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said they are in touch with the central government to know about the happenings in Saudi Arabia after a new labour policy has come into effect.

Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi is also scheduled to visit Saudi Arbia to convey India's apprehension about possible job losses to Indians due to implementation of the new labour law.

According to the annual report of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Saudi Arabia continues to be the desired destination among low- and semi-skilled workers from India, attracting 289,297 people in 2011. In 2011, 2.28 million Keralites were working abroad. Of them, some 570,000 are in Saudi Arabia.