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4 states see sharp rise in low skilled workers going abroad

Posted on September 15, 2014
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Emigration from Gujarat for greener pastures abroad has seen a rise of 26%. Over 8850 Gujarat workers emigrated in 2013 up from 6999 in 2012 hitting a four year high at a time when PM Narendra Modi was chief minister of the state. Gujarat is among the four states – Odisha, Punjab and Jharkhand-that have witnessed the sharpest (over 25%) increase in the number of workers travelling abroad for work.

The data relates to 17 countries for which emigration clearance has to be procured from the government.

The largest increase in emigrating workers came from Orissa that saw a jump of 41%. Emigrant workers from Orissa going out of the country for employment increased from 7,478 to 10,608 while there was a 30% increase in emigrants from Punjab from 37,472 to 48,836.

Jharkhand follows as a close third with 28% increase from 5292 emigrants in 2012 to 6782 in 2013.

According to data collated by the ministry of overseas Indian affairs there has been a marginal rise in emigration by Indians in 2013.

Low-skilled or unskilled workers like labourers, drivers and mechanics have to mandatorily take emigration clearance from the government before travelling to 17 countries including Libya, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Sudan, Iraq among others.

The total number of emigrant workers was up from 7.4 lakh in 2012 to 8.1 lakh in 2013 registering a growth of 9%. Growth from 2011 to 2012 was 19%. Emigration from India was hit last year after Saudi Arabia implemented the Nitaqat law, that restricts the number of foreign workers in the country.

This has meant relatively lower emigration of workers from states like Kerala and Rajasthan that traditionally used to send a significant population. Kerala that used to have the highest number of citizens emigrating saw a 12% dip in migrants from 98,178 to 85,909 while Rajasthan witnessed a drop of 17% from 50,295 in 2012 to 41,676 in 2013.

The state that sends the largest number of emigrant workers continues to be Uttar Pradesh where migrant labour has increased from 1.9 lakh to 2.1 lakh.

India, US to discuss visa issue during Modi visit

India and the US will deliberate on a host of issues, including visa restrictions, movement of professionals and greater market access, during the forthcoming visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to America.

Commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman said: “Totalization issue, visa issue and mode-IV labour movement issue. There are several such issues which will be taken up before the visit and some of them during the visit.”

She said the issue of greater market access for the Indian pharma sector to the US may also come up for talks.

Modi will meet US President Barack Obama at the White House on September 29-30. India wants early conclusion of the Totalisation Agreement with America.

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