The Indian government will fund labour dispute cases, pay overstay fines and provide financial support to release Indian workers from jail in the UAE from September.
The Indian missions in the emirates announced the new financial assistance programme today for distressed Indian nationals, according to Gulf News.
Assistance will be provided under the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) from September 1.
The programme is particularly expected to help low-paid construction workers, who are known to experience delays to salaries and other labour abuses including the confiscation of their passports in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
Indian Ambassador to the UAE, Navdeep Singh Suri, said all aspects of legal assistance will now be provided in most “deserving cases”, according to the publication.
“That is important because we have a number of ongoing cases where companies have shut down or workers have been laid off and they are unable to obtain compensation and even their salaries which are now due for several months and they need to go to the court,” he was quoted as saying.
“I am hoping that with this new mechanism now we can help these members of the community to at least take up their cases legally in courts of law and obtain redresses.”
The assistance programme will benefit workers that have been wronged by their employers or face illegal stay fines that are not their fault.
Indians missions in the country will make sure funds are supplied to those genuinely in need and will make note of any support provided in the beneficiary’s passport to avoid duplication or abuse of the system.
Funds can also be used to release Indians from prisons and detention centres for minor crimes when they don’t have the means to pay fines.
There are an estimated 2.7 million Indians residing in the UAE, making the group by far the largest expatriate community in the country.