The government of India has reportedly scrapped a $2,500 bank guarantee requirement for the recruitment of female domestic workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council.
The measure was first introduced to protect Indian domestic workers in November 2014 amid allegations of mistreatment and payment delays.
Those looking to hire an Indian domestic worker were required to provide bank guarantee certificate at the Indian Embassy in each GCC country.
Kuwait Times reports that the policy was cancelled ahead of a meeting between a delegation led by India’s minister of state for external affairs, M J Akbar, and Kuwaiti authorities on September 18.
India’s ambassador to Kuwait, Sunil Jain, said the guarantee was withdrawn “primarily because it was not acceptable to Kuwait” where MPs called for punitive measures against India when it was introduced.
“Secondly, the measure was proven ineffective,” he was quoted as saying.
The cancellation is applicable to all GCC countries, but is considered a goodwill gesture to Kuwait in particular ahead of the minister’s visit, according to the publication.
The Indian embassy in the country said domestic worker recruitment would continue to be regulated by six government recruitment agencies.
These include the Non-Resident Keralites Affairs Department, Overseas Development and Employment Promotion Consultants Ltd, Overseas Manpower Corporation Limited, Uttar Pradesh Financial Corporation, Telanga Overseas Manpower Company and the Overseas Manpower Company, Andhra Pradesh.
The removal of the recruitment guarantee comes following the introduction of a minimum wage of KD60 for a number of domestic positions in Kuwait last year.
Workers were also limited to an eight-hour workday and granted a mandatory weekend and 30 days of annual leave.
The Indian government announced last month it would fund labour cases and pay overstay fines for nationals residing in the UAE.