31 December 2014, Gulf Times

A number of rules are in place to protect the interest of workers going abroad, says a Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs official.

With increasing focus on problems faced by people seeking overseas jobs and those already working abroad, the government of India has adopted several measures, most important among them being steps to counter the issues associated with recruitment.

Two of the major issues have been identified as illegal operators and exploitation by middlemen, Indian officials have told Gulf Times.

During this correspondent’s visit to India, several officials, who wanted to stay anonymous, referred to the efforts taken by the government to improve the process of recruitment of overseas labour.

A senior official at the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs said that the government has enforced several new regulations in the whole process to safeguard the interests of the job-seekers. Recruitment agencies in India have to observe strict procedures while recruiting workers for foreign clients. They have also been made accountable in their dealings with potential candidates.

He said: “If we receive any complaint from the workers, we can suspend the licence of the recruitment firm even without conducting an inquiry. If charges are levelled repeatedly against a recruitment firm, we cancel their licence and seize the deposit of Rs 2mn which such companies have to place with the ministry for a licence.”

The official pointed out that there were a number of rules in place to protect the interest of the workers going abroad. He noted that the government has been able to curtail many of the malpractices through tough actions.

He elaborated: “Severe actions such as fines and punishments including long jail terms to curb the illegal practices in recruitment are bearing fruit. We have been able to control illegal recruitment in a big way. We have strictly enforced age restriction on the recruitment of female workers which has helped in reducing malpractices and abuses to a great extent.”



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