The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is expected to soon pass a law to regulate foreign labour in member countries, similar to the one passed by Saudi Arabia that seeks to reserve 10 percent jobs for locals, foreign media reports said.
The new law being mulled by the GCC would include returning 'marginal' and unskilled foreign workers to their home countries.
The GCC is a 6-member grouping with Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates as its members.
According to the latest Central Bank annual report, Middle Eastern countries continued to be the major market for Sri Lankan labour in 2012.
Four Middle Eastern countries, namely, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE together accounted for 84.3 percent of total migrant workers in 2012, compared with 80.3 percent in 2011.
Despite calls by various pressure groups to end the sending of Lankan housemaids to Middle Eastern countries, the number of women departed seeking employment as housemaids in 2012 increased by 10,735 to 118,235 in 2012, the latest Central Bank Annual Report showed.
Being the largest manpower category headed off for foreign employment in 2012, housemaids account for 42.3 percent of the total departures, up from 40.9 percent in 2011.
As the number one foreign exchange earner, Sri Lanka received US $ 5.98 billion by way of remittances in 2012.
Meanwhile the GCC will also attempt to eliminate workers who claim skills that they do not possess. The plan is said to be under study, a leading official was quoted by the Arab News as saying.
"There are responsible parties in the Council looking for a mechanism to verify whether or not the expat worker does have the skill the Gulf demands," Fawzi Al Majdali, Secretary General of the programme for restructuring the labour force and the executive agency in Kuwait was quoted as saying.
Kuwait has recently said that it will cut down and send away 100,000 expat workers who are considered marginal in order to replace them with local labour.
Saudi Arabia's labour law 'Nitaqat' makes it mandatory for local companies to hire one Saudi national for every 10 migrant workers.
When one door closes on you two doors will open - be positive.
Concerned Monday, 22 April 2013 06:53 AM
This is not a new regulation. Even back in 1980's this rule was much talked about in Saudi Arabia on Saudisation projects. But nothing happened. When it comes to hard working, Sri Lankan labour is much preferred over Saudis, who look only for white collar jobs and enjoyment at work place.
Bud Monday, 22 April 2013 06:54 AM
This is not going to affect SL much, as people in the Middle East won't be employed in low category jobs such as house maids.
Farook Monday, 22 April 2013 07:06 AM
Not in this case. Middle East is the largest employer of Sri Lankans!
Yehiya Monday, 22 April 2013 07:49 AM
No any plan to expan the job opportunities.
Huna Monday, 22 April 2013 07:50 AM
ha ha wish full thinking by the GCC countries , to make this work first of all they have to get these local Arb's to work 8 hours in the office/ work place
Godfrey Monday, 22 April 2013 08:20 AM
Low category workers working abroad brings more problems than benefits as they are most often exploited, and government have to intervene to sort out the family problems that they leave behind.
Nijith Monday, 22 April 2013 10:49 AM
In your dreams...
Kodituwakkuarachchi Monday, 22 April 2013 11:02 AM
Ali Madiwata harak!!
Truth Monday, 22 April 2013 11:34 AM
I guess you havent been reading news. Haven't you heard about Saudiazation???
kan Monday, 22 April 2013 12:14 PM
I think this law is not for housemaids where semi-skilled or unskilled manpower is required. Skilled workers will never work as housemaids.
Prasadan Tuesday, 23 April 2013 04:09 AM
Improve the skills and send people for better jobs. Let Indians and Pakistanis to do other jobs...
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