It will be a major relief for 11,770 people from Andhra Pradesh who applied for exit passes in Saudi Arabia. Around 50 percent of them would get jobs in various other companies there.
Meanwhile, the deadline for getting exit passes was extended from July 3 to October 3. So, there was no immediate threat to them. According to Saudi government, those who did not get exit passes, but still stayed in the country, would be imprisoned for two and a half years.
“Now, the deadline is extended. They will have three more months time and they will not be sent to jails immediately,” civil supplies minister D Sridhar Babu said. He attended a meeting of three states, called by the overseas Indian affairs minister Vayalar Ravi in Delhi recently.
Sridhar Babu said only around 100 people returned to the state from Saudi Arabia so far.
When affected workers return to their native places, the state government will take care of them. “The government will provide them self-employment under Rajiv Yuva Kiranalu,” he said.
It may be recalled that the Saudi government has decided to give 10 percent quota to local youths in certain jobs. As a result, a large number of migrant workers had no other option but to leave the country. The Nitaqat law created a furore among workers who had gone to Saudi from the state.
Sridhar Babu said 11,770 people applied for exit passes before July 3. But, the Saudi government did not give them the required papers. As the fault lies with them, those who had applied for exit passes would not be jailed, he added.
Apart from workers from AP, 29,800 from UP and 7,000 from Kerala are in Saudi Arabia, he said.