The Indian government spent Rs 45.78 crores for the welfare of its citizens based abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic in the last two years.
Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told Rajya Sabha that the government had spent over Rs 45 crores to help overseas citizens in distress.
Dr Jaishankar responded to a question asked by Loktantrik Janta Dal MP MV Shreyams Kumar.
He said, “We spent Rs 45.78 crores for the welfare of our citizens, mostly workers in the Gulf during the period of the COVID using the Indian Community Welfare Fund.”
Responding to another question about the loss of wages of Indians working abroad, Dr Jaishankar said the data of pending salaries are not available; still, he is taking up the matter with Gulf countries.
“The government does not have the exact figure for the workers whose salaries are pending, but Indian missions in the Gulf ensure retaining employment and showing that wages are paid and ensuring the welfare of workers on priority from the highest level,” said the minister.
He said that the government is engaged on this matter, and he has been regularly talking to the governments of the Gulf.
“In the course of the last two years, during the COVID period, the Prime Minister has had 16 telephonic conversations with his counterparts, the leaders of the Gulf countries. I have visited the Gulf countries 13 times during this period. My colleague Muralidharan has been there four times. I have also had 27 telephonic meetings with our colleagues,” said Dr Jaishankar.