Hyderabad: The falling price of oil is a major reason for the lack of job opportunities for Indian workers in the Gulf countries. Due to the lack of new projects and the withdrawal of proposed projects, the Bin Laden Group, one of the biggest construction companies in Gulf, has begun laying off workers. About 22,000 employees from India have been rendered jobless. Some other companies have also started sending Indian workers back home saying that they will call for them whenever the crisis is resolved.
Mohammed Ali Shabbir, the former minister of NRI Affairs in the erstwhile state of united Andhra Pradesh, says, “The layoffs began in 2015 in the Gulf countries. Besides the oil crisis, the cold war between the Gulf countries is discouraging to new workers from India. Many projects in Qatar have been cancelled and the Government of Saudi Arabia has given the Mecca-Madina Project a break. Restrictions imposed on Qatar by the Gulf Cooperation Council, the looming war clouds between Saudi and Yemen, and the crises in Iraq and Syria are also discouraging to new workers, and this is having an impact on the remittances received by India.”
Workers from India also seem to be growing less keen on moving to the Gulf for work. Sheik Hussain, a travel agent from the city, says that the number of people aspiring to migrate to the Gulf has been decreasing steadily. “Besides Telangana, workers from Kerala and other states in north India are also stepping back from working in the Gulf due to many reasons, one of which the fear of being cheated by agents. As compared to the wages paid to Indian workers, the wages paid to workers from Bangladesh, Nepal and Philippines are much less. Construction companies in the Gulf which are a facing crisis are more interested in acquiring workers from these three countries instead of India,” he says.
A global study has revealed that civil wars and internal wars in Yemen and Iraq have led to a decline in migrations to these countries. Apart from this, the increase in visa fees for workers and their dependents and the preferential hiring of Saudi natives are discouraging to Indians seeking jobs in the Gulf....