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Protecting workers...

INDIA has stepped up efforts to protect its nationals working in Bahrain and the Gulf.

The Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry yesterday issued a handbook for emigrants, that aims to safeguard their rights.

Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said several initiatives for distressed Indians abroad had been launched and new agreements with other countries were also in the pipeline.

"The government has launched an insurance scheme for workers, established welfare funds in our embassies for distressed Indians, and created mechanisms to help vulnerable women abroad," he said during the 11th annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) event in Kochi, Kerala.

More than 2,000 delegates from over 60 countries are attending the three-day convention, which ends today.

"The government will do all that is possible to deepen their (overseas Indians) connection with India and advance their interests," said Dr Singh.

"While honouring their achievements, the government will also seek to facilitate their travel, business and education and make it easier for them to be a part of life in India, enjoy due rights and participate in India's economic development."

The convention has touched on issues such as the scrapping of customs rules limiting the quantity of gold Indian air passengers can take home.

It will conclude with plenary sessions on investment opportunities in Indian states, innovation and technology among other issues. sandy@gdn.com.bh



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