Mufrej Al Haqbani, Saudi Arabia’s Labour Minister, along with V K Singh, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, stated at a joint press conference in Jeddah on 3 August that he was given direction by the two holy mosques [King Salman bin Abdulaziz] custodian to take all necessary procedures to resolve an issue that was caused owing to workers living without pay for several months. According to Mr Al Haqbani, this problem was confined to only one company, which acceded its role. The name of the company was, however, not disclosed.
He said that the Arab country would also recruit lawyers to follow up workers’ claims for wages that were to be paid to them by the firm even if they have decided on returning home. As for those who wish to stay back in Saudi Arabia, they would transfer their visa to another employer.
Singh was quoted by The National as saying that the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had taken enough measures to ensure that employees were taken care of and added that officials at the Indian embassy were making lists for identifying the workers who wished to return home before making arrangements for transport with the Saudi Arabian government. He also echoed Saudi’s minister’s views saying that only very few Indians working in the Arab country were affected.
Singh said of the three million people working in Saudi Arabia, only a small number were affected. He added that they would convey to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) saying that things were not the way that had been made out to be. Singh said India received total cooperation from the Saudi government.