New Delhi, Nov 6 (IANS) Around 130,000 Indians have returned to India from Saudi Arabia this year following the kingdom's Nitaqat work policy, a top official said Wednesday.
Around 5,000 Indian expatriates have also been deported from Kuwait for not possessing proper work documents. There are around 750,000 Indians in Kuwait.
According to external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin, while 130,000 Indians without valid work documents returned in an "orderly" manner, 1.4 million Indians used the extended time offered by Saudi Arabia to regularise their stay in that country.
He said the Nitaqat policy is part of the Saudi Arabian government's move to reorganise the labour market "as it deems fit".
He said India was in touch with the Saudi government to ameliorate the adverse effects and Riyadh extended the deadline twice, which ended Nov 3.
He said the Indian embassy in Riyadh and the consul in Jeddah had worked overtime to sensitise Indians, numbering 2.8 million, on Nitaqat under which local companies have to hire a Saudi national for every 10 migrants.
According to Mridul Kumar, joint secretary (Gulf) in the ministry, the Indian embassy used the opportunity to regularise status of Indians staying illegally or with invalid visas - entering on a domestic worker visa but taking up a job in a different category.
"We managed to make it a huge success," he said.