Modi has just finished his trip to Israel and has held many similar bilateral talks with other nations taking credit for more than what is required. The way everything is projected looks like the clout our PM Modi has over his counterpart exceeds thousand times. But in reality there is hardly any respite for our Diaspora in that country.
We shall consider Saudi Arabia as an example. When Modi visited Saudi Arabia last year Indian Diaspora in Saudi believed that their conditions will start changing. However this looks like it is opposite.
An estimated 30 lakh Indian citizens live in Saudi Arabia, a country that employs the largest number of Indians anywhere in the world. Keralites forms the bulk of that population. Since last year Saudi Arabia has levying fees for the dependents. The monthly levy was SR100 per dependent in the first year. The amount is now being raised gradually every year until 2020. It has reached SR200 this year, and then increase will become SR300 in July 2019 and SR400 in 2020.
Apart from collecting charges for dependants, Soudi Arabia also levies charges on companies that have more expats than Saudi nationals. The fee is at the rate of SR400 per month per expatriate worker. The monthly amount will double in 2020 to SR800.
These charges are making the lives of Indians vulnerable and deteriorating their living conditions drastically. This may make Indians in Saudi to come back to India thereby creating pressure on the social and economic resources. Also with the conditions of job loss in India due to automation this reverse migration will worsen the situation.
Modi received highest civilian award from Saudi Arabia last year during the visit and claimed that bilateral talks were successful in many fronts. But PM Modi has failed in getting exemptions for Indian expats, form 30% of total expats in Saudi Arabia, from dependant charges. In next few years we may see reverse migration trend because of the failure of Modi to get this charges cancelled.
Kerala will be the worst affected state that accounts for maximum expats. The economy of Kerala is mainly driven by remittances and if the remittances are stopped there will be huge burden on the resources in Kerala.
Will Modi Sarkar intervene to provide relief?