- Title: Indian minister meets workers stranded in Saudi Arabia
- Date: 5th August 2016
- Summary: MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA (AUGUST 4, 2016) (ANI - NO ACCESS BBC) VARIOUS OF INDIAN WORKERS CHANTING SLOGANS AS INDIA' S JUNIOR FOREIGN MINISTER, VIJAY KUMAR SINGH, WALKS THROUGH CROWD SINGH ADDRESSING WORKERS (SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) INDIA' S JUNIOR FOREIGN MINISTER, VIJAY KUMAR SINGH, SAYING: "You are in a foreign country, the laws are different here. Keeping this in mind, we came here to find a solution for your problems." INDIAN WORKERS LISTENING / SINGH ADDRESSING WORKERS
- Embargoed: 19th August 2016 16:03
- Keywords: Vijay Kumar Singh workers Saudi Arabia India
- Location: MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA
- City: MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA
- Country: Saudi Arabia
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0014TUOGNB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: QUALITY AS INCOMING
India's junior foreign minister Vijay Kumar Singh on Thursday (August 4) met Indian workers stranded in Saudi Arabia without money or food after a sharp drop in oil prices forced cuts in firms employing foreign workers.
Cheering crowds of Indian workers greeted Singh, who reassured them that their issues were being addressed.
"You are in a foreign country, the laws are different here. Keeping this in mind, we came here to find a solution for your problems," he said.
A sharp drop in oil prices forced cuts to state spending in Saudi Arabia, the world's top crude exporter. Construction firms have been squeezed financially and have laid off tens of thousands of south Asian and other foreign workers.
More than 6,200 of the stranded Indian workers were employed by construction firm Saudi Oger, a conglomerate owned by the family of former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri. It has been unable to pay workers' salaries for months, according to Indian officials.
Saudi Labour Minister Mufrej al-Haqbani said King Salman had directed officials to take all measures to resolve the problem at the government's expense, and Riyadh would hire lawyers to pursue the workers' claims and make sure their rights were respected.
Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Saturday (July 30) that the workers faced a "food crisis" because employers had not paid their wages.
The Jeddah consulate was distributing emergency rations to the workers pending efforts to repatriate them.
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