5,000 Indians find new jobs in Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: Nearly 5,000 Indians in Saudi Arabia have found new jobs after the Indian consulate in Jeddah took up proactive measures to help the expatriates affected by the Gulf Kingdom’s new labour law.

Consul general Faiz Ahmed Kidwai said yesterday that since the announcement of the three-month grace period which ends on July 3, the consulate had vigorously taken up a drive to help eligible Indians find employment, Arab News reported today.

The consul general said everyday hundreds of candidates were being interviewed by potential employers in the consulate premises and hoped to far exceed the 5,000-mark by the end of the grace period.

The candidates ranging from labour to engineers, who had been declared “absconders” by their sponsors or those who fall under the red Nitaqat zone, are able to find suitable jobs, he said.

Indian expatriates were badly hit by the new Nitaqat law that makes it mandatory for local firms to hire one Saudi national for every 10 migrant workers.

There has been widespread perception that the new policy will lead to denial of job opportunities for a large number of Indians.

Over two million Indians are currently working in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government was implementing the Nitaqat law to cut unemployment in the country.

Meanwhile, the Indian embassy in Riyadh said 200 companies have approached it to recruit Indian workers.

A significant number of Indian workers have already availed these offers and are in the process of changing their company/job, it said in a statement.