New insurance scheme for blue-collared Indians soon

DUBAI — A new insurance scheme benefiting blue-collared workers who come to the Gulf in case of emergencies will soon be introduced, according to a visiting Member of Parliament from India.

By Prerna Suri

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Sat 18 Sep 2004, 8:55 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:46 PM

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Madhu Goud Yaskhi, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) explained that the scheme, called “Bima Yojana”, will entitle each worker a sum of Rs200,000 and will cover any kind of losses relating to injury and deaths.

“Many of these poor labourers sell off their properties to pay huge amounts of money to agents in the hope of gaining a tourist visa here. Once they come here, their passports and other documents are seized by agents and they are practically left with nothing,” he said at a meeting organised by the Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC), Sharjah. “This scheme will ensure that in the case of any emergency or any unforeseen circumstances, the workers will be given a sum of Rs200,000 by the government to tide them over,” he added. Mr Yashki, the only NRI parliamentarian in the Lok Sabha, elaborated on how the insurance scheme will be awarded to the workers. “When the workers go to the passport office in their district to get the Emigration Check Not Required (ECNR) stamp, they can avail of this facility,” he said. Commenting on the increasing number of lost passport cases in the region, Mr Yashki said that this was a genuine problem that had to be looked into with finer detail.

“I understand that many a time the agents who bring these blue-collared workers over here for work, seize their passports and disappear with them. In such a case, the workers are issued temporary travel documents by the local consulates. But while travelling, many of them have complained on the harassment that is meted out to them by the immigration authorities in India,” said Mr Yashki. The parliamentarian made the comments while discussing a number of problems that the Gulf NRIs faced in a one-to-one discussion with members of the IBPC Sharjah.

A memorandum was prepared by the council, which listed the demands that they were seeking from the government. Topping the list was the demand to abolish tax on the income of the deposits made by Gulf NRIs.

“This tax, which has been deferred to next year, will hit people in the lower income bracket much more as they are the ones who send much of the money from here. We would like to see this completely abolished as whenever our country required remittance from us, we stood up for them. But now since the economy is doing relatively well, the government plans to tax us on our income. This is completely unfair,” said Sudesh Aggarwal, Chairman, IBPC.

The parliamentarian promised to look into each of the demands with great scrutiny and assured the members of his commitment towards working for the NRIs.

More news from