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(Monthly Digest of Official Indian Statements on Middle East)
Mr. Sameh Hassan Shoukry, Foreign Minister of Egypt calls on Prime Minister, New Delhi, March 23, 2018.
Mr. Sameh Hassan Shoukry, Foreign Minister of Egypt, who is on a visit to India in the context of Seventh Meeting of the bilateral Joint Commission, called on Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today.
The Minister conveyed to Prime Minister Modi, greetings from President Sisi of Egypt. Prime Minister Modi requested the Minister to convey his best wishes to President Sisi.
The two dignitaries discussed the shared commitment of India and Egypt to strengthen bilateral engagement. Deepening of cooperation in areas such as infrastructure, trade and investment and people-to-people relations was discussed. Source: Ministry of External Affairs
Visit of Foreign Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt to India (March 22-23, 2018), New Delhi, March 23, 2018.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt HE Mr. Sameh Shoukry visited India from March 22-23, 2018.
During his visit, the 7th Session of India Egypt Joint Commission Meeting was held on March 23, 2018 in New Delhi. External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj led the Indian Side whereas Foreign Minister of Egypt led the Egyptian Side. Both leaders discussed entire gamut of bilateral issues and also held deliberations on how to deepen and diversify the bilateral cooperation between India and Egypt. They also discussed regional, international and multilateral issues of mutual interest. Agreed Minutes were also signed by the two leaders after deliberations.
The visiting dignitary also called on the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and handed over a letter to him from President of Egypt HE Mr. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. Source: Ministry of External Affairs
Indian trade exhibition "SOURCE INDIA IRAN" from 10 to 12 March, 2018 at Milad Tower, Tehran, 8 March 2018.
Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI), in association with the Embassy of India, is organizing Indian trade exhibition “SOURCE INDIA IRAN” from 10 to 12 March, 2018 at Milad Tower, Tehran. The event will be inaugurated at 1030 hrs. on 10th March, 2018 in the presence of dignitaries from India and Iran. The event is supported by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Government of India.
Trade Promotion Council of India is a premier trade and investment promotion organization in India.
India and Iran enjoys close and historical friendly relations. During recent visit of Hon’ble President of Islamic Republic of Iran H.E. Dr. Hassan Rouhani to India both the sides agreed to further strengthen the bilateral relations particularly trade & investment cooperation between the two countries.
Source India would be the first major business event being held soon after the recent high level visit. Around 100 Indian companies representing various sectors such as engineering machinery, food, IT, Plastics, Rubber etc. will showcase their products and services at the SOURCE INDIA Exhibition with an objective to find right Iranian partners for collaboration in trade and investment and possible joint ventures. This will perhaps be one of the largest Indian business event in Iran in recent years.
India would also welcome similar trade exhibition/delegation from Iran to India in the foreseeable future. The main purpose of such exchange of business exhibitions/delegations is to tap the unrealized trade potential between India and Iran.
Iranian friends including from all the Chamber of Commerce & Industry and various trade bodies are cordially invited to visit SOURCE INDIA IRAN Exhibition at Milad Tower from 10-12 March, 2018 and explore the possibility of trade collaboration/joint ventures and investment opportunities with their Indian counterparts. Source: Embassy of India, Tehran
Cabinet approves Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion between India and Iran, New Delhi, 14 March, 2018.
The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved an Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income between India and Iran.
The Agreement will stimulate flow of investment, technology and personnel from India to Iran & vice versa, and will prevent double taxation. The Agreement will provide for exchange of information between the two Contracting Parties as per latest international standards. It will thus improve transparency in tax matters and will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance.
The Agreement is on similar lines as entered into by India with other countries. The proposed Agreement also meets treaty related minimum standards under G-20 OECD Base Erosion & Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project, in which India participated on an equal footing.
In so far as India is concerned, the Central Government is authorized under Section 90 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 to enter into an Agreement with a foreign country or specified territory for avoidance of double taxation of income for exchange of information for the prevention of evasion or avoidance of income-tax chargeable under the Income-tax Act, 1961.Source: Press Information Bureau
Cabinet approves the MoU on Cooperation between India and Iran in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine, New Delhi, 14 March 2018.
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between India and Iran in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine.
The MoU will enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the areas of Traditional Systems of Medicine. This will be of immense importance to both countries considering their shared cultural heritage.
India is blessed with well- developed systems of traditional medicine including medicinal plants, which hold tremendous potential in the global health scenario.
India and Iran share several common features in their language, culture and traditions and also share a common legacy of using herbal medicines. Both countries are having huge biodiversity and home for rare medicinal plants which are frequently used in Traditional Systems of Medicine. Moreover, Iran has endorsed the status of India as a true leader in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine backed by huge and strong infrastructure and “State of the Art" production units.
The Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India having the mandate to promote, propagate and globalize the Traditional Systems of Medicine including Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homoeopathy, has taken effective steps by entering into MoU with China, Malaysia, Trinidad & Tobago, Hungary, Bangladesh, Nepal, Mauritius and Mongolia for cooperation in Traditional Medicine. Another MoU is proposed to be signed with Sri Lanka. Source: Press Information Bureau
Cabinet approves MoU between India and Iran for cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors, New Delhi, 14 March 2018.
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post-facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Iran for cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors. The MoU was signed on 17th February, 2018 during the visit of the President of Iran to India.
The MoU provides for cooperation in the areas of agricultural crops, agricultural extension, horticulture, machinery, post-harvest technology, plant quarantine measures, credit and cooperation. It also provides for cooperation in soil conservation and water management, integrated nutrients management, seed technology and agricultural marketing. Livestock improvement, dairy development, animal health and other fields as mutually agreed upon fall within the scope of this MoU. Cooperation will also be effected through exchange of experts, materials and information, exchange of trainees and scientists on study visits/training programmes, facilitation of relevant conferences and workshops and any other means as may be mutually agreed upon.
Under the MoU, a Joint Working Group (JWG) will be formed to monitor the activities carried out in fulfilment of this MoU. The JWG will hold its meeting alternately in India and Iran once in every two years. The MoU will be valid initially for a period of five years and will be automatically extended for a subsequent period of five years unless either party notifies the other party of its intent of terminating it. Source: Press Information Bureau
Cabinet approves MoU between India and Iran on cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine, New Delhi, 14 March 2018
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post-facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Iran on cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine. The MoU was signed on 17th February, 2018 during the visit of the President of Iran to India.
The MoU will encourage cooperation between the two countries and strengthen bilateral ties between them.
The MoU covers the following areas of cooperation:-
Any other area of cooperation as may be mutually decided upon.
A Working Group will be set up to further elaborate the details of cooperation and to oversee the implementation of this MoU. Source: Press Information Bureau
Question No, 4327, Iranian President's Visit to India, Lok Sabha, 21 March 2018.
4327. SHRI RATTAN LAL KATARIA:
Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state
(a) whether during the recent visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, India and Iran have agreed for closer cooperation in the fields of energy, banking and counter terrorism;
(b) if so, the details in this regard;
(c) whether India and Iran have discussed various agreements and the future course of action on Chabahar and India's contribution to the Chabahar railways;
(d) if so, the details in this regard;
(e) whether India has described Chabahar as the gateway to Afghanistan and the Central Asian region; and
(f) if so, the details of agreements made between India and Iran to make transit and trade the core of bilateral relations?
MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[GEN. (DR) V.K. SINGH (RETD)]
(a) & (b) Dr. Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran paid a visit to India from 15-17 February 2018. During the visit, 9 bilateral Agreements and MoUs were exchanged between the two countries.
On Energy, India and Iran agreed to develop a long-term strategic partnership and increase the pace of negotiation for reaching appropriate results on energy cooperation, including Farzad B gas field.
On banking, India and Iran agreed on the deepening of trade and investment cooperation and recognized the need to put in place an effective banking channel for business transactions. Both countries also agreed to set up a Joint Committee of officials to examine feasible options to establish functional payment channels.
On counter-terrorism, the two countries agreed to enhance regular and institutionalized consultations between the respective National Security Councils and others concerned on terrorism, security and related issues such as organized crime, money-laundering, drug trafficking and cybercrime and jointly called on the international community to end selective or partial approaches to combating terrorism and, in this regard, stressed the need to make every effort to reach an agreement on and conclude a comprehensive convention on international terrorism at the UNGA.
(c) to (f) Promoting multi-modal connectivity within and across the region constituted a key element of the visit. The recent developments including successful inauguration of the Phase-1 of Chabahar Port in early December 2017; the ratification of the Trilateral Agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan on Establishment of International Transport and Transit Corridor by all sides; and the successful shipment of wheat assistance from India to Afghanistan through Chabahar Port were described as having opened a new gateway to and from Afghanistan, Central Asia and beyond.
During the visit, both countries reiterated their commitment for early and full operationalization of Shahid Beheshti Port at Chabahar. A lease contract for Shahid Beheshti port of Chabahar during the interim period was signed between Port and Maritime Organization (Iran) and India Ports Global Limited (IPGL). India conveyed its readiness to support the development of Chabahar-Zahedan Rail line. Iranian side conveyed that it would organize a business promotion event, with participation of countries from the region and beyond, with the objective of showcasing the economic opportunities offered by the Chabahar Port. Source: Ministry of External Affairs
English Translation of EAM’s address in the Rajya Sabha on the issue of 39 Indians in Iraq (March 20, 2018), New Delhi, March 22, 2018
Chairman Sir, with your permission I would like to provide a very important information to the house. We all know that in the month of June 2014, 39 Indians were captured as hostage by ISIS in Iraq. This topic was discussed many times in the House. The last discussion was held on July 27 in the Rajya Sabha. On July 27, 2017, Hon’ble Bajwa Ji had raised this topic in the Zero Hour and the next day I came to the house to give my reply.
I would like to read what I had said at that time. I had said, "Till the time I have no proof that they have been killed, I will not declare them dead; I will not declare them dead." Deputy Chairman Mr. Kurien was presiding on that day. Making an announcement without any evidence that 'He died' is a sin at individual level and irresponsible at the level of the government, hence neither will I commit this sin nor will I act irresponsibly. But the day I find any concrete evidence and if the Parliament is in session on that day, then I will request to stop its proceedings and inform the country and if the parliament is not in session then I will inform the whole country on twitter within 10 minutes.
Today I have come here to fulfil that promise of mine. Today I have concrete evidence for both the things. First, story of Harjit Masih was not true, and the other, I am saying this with a heavy heart, that those missing people have been killed. And I would like to put the evidences of both the things in front of you.
The proof that Harjit Masih was not speaking the truth is that the last time when General VK Singh went to find them in Iraq, I told him that first of all he must go to Mosul and meet the owner of the company, as he might get some important clues there. He started his journey from Mosul only and when he spoke to the owner of the company, the owner told the whole story that 40 Indians and some Bangladeshi people used to work for him.
The owner said that when ISIS started occupying Mosul, then he asked all the people who used to work for him to leave. So first all the Iraqi workers left then workers from other countries also left but these Indians and Bangladeshi workers did not leave. So he called a caterer who used to feed them and one day that caterer came and said that once when Bangladeshi and Indian workers were coming to eat, some ISIS people saw them and asked, who are you people? They told them that we are Bangladeshi and they are Indians.
So ISIS people said that you all will not stay here. There was a textile factory which ISIS had occupied, they asked to take the workers there, and they took them all to that textile factory. There the ISIS people said to keep the Bangladeshi and Indian workers separate from each other so both were kept separately there.
One day ISIS people asked to drop the Bangladesh workers to Erbil. Caterer told that they gave this responsibility to me so he got ready to take them in his van to drop them in Erbil. I don’t know what Harjit did that night, he may know better, I’ll tell you what my guess is. He asked the owner of the company that the owner must give Harjit a Muslim name and send him with the Bangladeshi workers. Owner of the company says that he received a call from a person and the caller says I am Ali, to which the owner says that there is no one named Ali who works for him. To which the caller says, I am the one who has to go with the Bangladeshi workers, so the owner of the company says, Ok, Ok. So this caterer is saying that along with the Bangladeshi workers he had dropped Harjit Masih as Ali in Erbil.
Chairman Sir, first time when I spoke with Harjit he had called me from the Erbil only. So when I asked him how did you reach here? He was talking in Punjabi, he said I don’t know. So I said, how is it possible that you don’t know. You are calling me from Erbil, at least tell me how did you reach there? He again said I don’t know but you please rescue me. I said to him that son, we will definitely rescue you but tell me how did you reach there? No Ma’am, I don’t know. I asked him three to four times and every time he said, I don’t know.
Later he concocted the story that all of them were taken to jungle and made to stand in a queue. 39 people were shot in the head and only I was shot in the leg so only I could escape and rest of them were killed. This was all a cock and bull story and his story was not true. He had escaped earlier as Ali with the Bangladeshis in the caterer’s van. So this was all about Harjit Masih.
The caterer further told that next day when ISIS people found out that all the 40 Indians are not there, as they used to do a headcount every night, so they decided that keeping Indians there was not okay and they asked one of the ISIS commanders to take them to Badush. Owner of the company says that he does not know what happened after that as there was a prison in Badush which was under the control of ISIS. He said he had no contact with them after that and he did not know whether the ISIS people have kept them in the prison or they killed them.
Taking a cue from that all three of them, General V K Singh, our Ambassador Pradeep Rajpurohit and an official from the Iraq government, because the day I spoke here in the house, that day Iraqi Foreign Minister was here in India and during my bilateral discussions with him I had said to him that when General V K Singh visit there next time I want that an official from Iraq government accompanies him so that it helps him in the search operation. So the Iraqi FM had said, yes, please do send him, we will provide an official.
So these three people, General V K Singh, our Ambassador Pradeep Rajpurohit and the official from the Iraq government left for Badush because the last information was that they were taken to Badush. When these people were searching in Badush then they met a person who told them that there is a mound nearby and it seems a lot of people were buried there together, you must go there and check.
Now when these people went to that mound, not much could be made out from the outside so they contacted the Iraqi authorities that they need a Deep Penetration Radar so that they can check what is lying underneath that mound. Deep Penetration Radar revealed that there are dead bodies underneath the mound. So General Singh asked Iraqi authorities to dig up that mound and exhume the bodies.
Chairman Sir, whole mound was dug up and the dead bodies were exhumed and from those dead bodies we got two things, one, they had long hair and another was a Kada and along with that some ID cards were also found and some shoes which were not from Iraq. So the bodies were exhumed and all the mortal remains which were found from that mound were sent to Baghdad.
Prior to this, since we had not received any call even after 20-22 days of liberation of Mosul so the hope of them being alive was waning and we had started searching for them in the dead bodies from the mass graves. There is a Martyrs Foundation which was examining the mass graves. We had contacted them and asked them to search for our missing people. They said if you can bring the DNA samples, directly from the parents or real brothers and sisters, then we will be able to search for them. So we had send DNA samples of all the missing persons. Four state governments were involved in this, Punjab, Himachal, Bihar and West Bengal. We had contacted the state government and send the DNA samples of all of them to Martyrs Foundation. So the foundation had these DNA samples with them when we sent the bodies from Baghdad to them.
Through our Ambassador we made a plea to the foundation to give priority to this because we think these are our missing people because the bodies that we saw and the evidences that we found, please have a look at them. We are very grateful that they accepted our request and they started the DNA testing of the bodies which we had sent them after exhuming them from that mound. First match was confirmed for a boy named Sandeep, so they informed us that they know about Sandeep. As the number of bodies was 39, so it was also a sign.
After that one after another DNA got matched and our Ambassador used to inform us daily that today we got 5 DNA matches, 8 DNA matches and so on. But yesterday he informed us that there have been 38 DNA matches and for the 39th person, 70% of DNA was matched because the sample was not from his parents, it was from some close relative, but it is still under process and we are not closing it and we will test it again because they were extracting DNA from the bone which is a complex process.
Today, at 1:30 pm IST, the head of Martyrs Foundation herself will conduct a press conference there and inform that the 39 bodies which Indian government had given them, DNA match for 38 of them has been confirmed. She will also give detailed report of the process which they had used for matching the DNA. So the thing which I had said that there is concrete proof of both the things, Harjit Masih escaped as Ali, evidence regarding this is being given by the owner of the company where Harjit used to work and they have been killed because there could not be a bigger evidence than DNA matching.
Chairman Sir, I would like to tell you that this was a very complicated and very difficult task and there were many hurdles in it. Such a big country, desolated desert and such a barbaric terrorist organization that when the Mosul was liberated, there were heap of corpses lying all around and finding our people out of so many dead bodies.
For this I would especially like to express my gratitude towards General VK Singh. He is worthy of so much praise that whatever I praise him, it would fall short. They crossed all the obstacles and endured all the difficulties. The day they went to Badush that night these three people slept on the floor of a small house in the village. Overcoming all the difficulties they still reached to its conclusion. And the thing which I had said that I will not declare them dead without any evidence, I will declare them dead after getting some concrete proof so he really did find that evidence.
But along with that I would like to thank the Iraqi government who accepted our request and provided their official to assist in the search, otherwise we still would have been looking in the Mass Graves. Chairman Sir, who uses Deep Penetration Radar to look below the mound, then dug it up, exhume the bodies then take them to Baghdad and get them examined, who does that.
And the third gratitude which I would like to express is for Martyrs Foundation who not only accepted our request, this is the matter of July 27, and today they themselves are going to do a press conference and inform that our DNAs were matched. And I would like to thank our Prime Minister, who persevered this search for three years with great patience and never allowed me to lose heart and always said that you must continue with this search.
Now, I would also like to say that we have requested our Ambassador to make preparations. We are not stopping just at the announcement, General V K Singh will take an airplane and go to Iraq, and their dead bodies in coffin along with a certificate, not only with the name and passport but a certificate from Martyrs Foundation stating how their DNA was matched and it is the body of this person. General Singh will bring the dead bodies in the airplane.
Airplane will first land at Amritsar because 31 persons among them were from Punjab and Himachal, there we will hand over their dead bodies. After that he will take the same airplane to Patna and hand over the dead bodies to the families of the people from Bihar. And from there he will go to Kolkata and hand over the dead bodies of people from West Bengal.
Chairman Sir, it is said that one can console for death but one cannot console for missing persons. If they had been in the missing category, which they were till now, there is always some hope and there is no closure. But I had said that I will do the closure with concrete evidence.
Today, I would like to say that when we will hand over the mortal remains and the dead bodies of their children to their families then, maybe with tears, but they will be able to do the closure. I would want that today this house pays a homage to them by observing a silence and console their families that after three years, their children are not alive but their mortal remains are reaching to them.
Many many thanks. Source: Ministry of External Affairs
Question No. 3051, Support for Reconstruction of Iraq, Rajya Sabha, 22 March 2018
3051. SHRI N. GOKULAKRISHNAN:
Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:
(a) whether it is a fact that India has offered support for reconstruction of Iraq;
(b) if so, the details thereof;
(c) whether India would come up with project specific proposals for the purpose; and
(d) if so the details thereof?
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
(SHRI M.J. AKBAR)
Source: Ministry of External Affairs
Question No. 2263, Indian Citizen Missing from Iraq, Rajya Sabha, 15 March 2018
2263. SHRI NARAYAN LAL PANCHARIYA:
Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:
(a) the details of efforts made by Government during the last few months to trace Indian citizens missing from Iraq since June, 2014;
(b) the details regarding the number of such missing people; and
(c) whether any of the missing citizens is from Rajasthan and if so, the details thereof?
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[SHRI M.J. AKBAR]
(a) & (b) The Government has been making all possible efforts to trace the 39 Indian workers missing in Iraq. Efforts are currently underway to obtain proof of their being alive or dead, including by rendering assistance to the Iraqi Authorities in matching of DNA samples of close relatives with the mortal remains being found in mass graves in Iraq.
(c) As per the records, none of these 39 missing Indian citizens is from the State of Rajasthan. Source: Ministry of External Affairs
Question No. 3196, Agreements with Israel, Lok Sabha, 14 March 2018.
†3196. SHRI UDAY PRATAP SINGH:
Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state
(a) the details of agreements signed with Israel recently regarding cyber security, defence, science, technology etc., besides the details of other subjects of special discussion, in public interest;
(b) whether negotiations were held on terrorism between India and Israel and if so, the details thereof;
(c) whether the Government proposes to revive the defence deals worth 3.2 thousand crores which were rescinded earlier; and
MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS [SHRI M. J. AKBAR]
MoUs / Agreement / Protocol / Letter of Details Intents
Government to Government
Protocol between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the State of Israel on Amendments to the Air Transport Agreement
This Protocol envisages entering into cooperative marketing arrangements, such as code share, bloc space or any other JV agreement for the purpose of operating the agreed services on the specified routes
MoU between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Energy of the State of Israel on Cooperation in Oil and Gas Sector
Through this MoU both the sides are looking to explore opportunities of long-term cooperative relationship and joint economic projects to enhance bilateral engagements in the field of Oil and Gas, inter-alia including collaboration in upstream sector activities; R&D and Technology; promoting institutional linkages between Universities and R&D establishment for mutually beneficial collaboration; and in the area of Start-ups.
MoU between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the State of Israel on Cyber Security Cooperation
It envisages cooperation in the field of cyber security to develop, promote and expand cooperation in the field of HRD through various platforms and arrangements such as training programmes, skill development, and simulator based hands-on training. It also envisages collaborating in the field of cyber security resilience, promoting B2B cooperation in cyber security and facilitating industrial summits.
Agreement on Film-co-production between the Government of the State of Israel and the Government of the Republic of India
This envisages to establish a framework for encouraging all audio visual media output, especially the co-production of films for the benefit of the film industries of both the countries and contribute to the economic growth of the film, TV, video and new media production for further development of cultural and technologies ties.
MoUs / Agreement / Protocol / Letter of Details Intents
Government to Non-Government
MoU between the Central Council for Research in Homeopathy, Ministry of AYUSH and the Centre for Integrative Complementary Medicine, Shaare Zedek Medical Centre on Cooperation in the field of Research in Homeopathic Medicine
Envisages cooperation in the field of Research in Homeopathic Medicine, inter alia including establishment of a joint working group.
MoU between the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) and the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology for cooperation in the field of space
Envisages for cooperation in the areas of mutual interest in the field of space by establishment of JWG for research, educational and training programmes.
Memorandum of Intent (MoI) between Invest India, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India and Invest in Israel of the Ministry of Economy and Industry, Government of Israel concerning the Promotion of Bilateral Direct Investments in India and Israel
The purpose of this instrument is supporting and developing cooperation between the two sides through exchange of information on investment opportunities, relevant laws and regulations, policies and government initiatives.
Letter of Intent for joint R&D between Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) and Phinergy Ltd. of Israel
This envisages to encourage joint R&D, deployment and manufacturing activities in the area of metal-air batteries for an array of applications, as stationary energy storage systems, electric mobility solutions etc.
Letter of Intent for cooperation between Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) and Yeda Research and Development Co. Ltd. Of Israel.
This LoI intends to encourage joint research activities in the area of concentrated solar thermal technologies including concentrated solar power generation, solar fuels, solar thermal storage materials, technologies, systems & concepts.
During the visit, both the sides held extensive discussions on various areas of mutual interest viz. agriculture, water, science & technology, cyber, energy, trade & investment, defence & security and air connectivity. During the visit, PM Netanyahu paid tribute at the renamed Teen Murti Haifa memorial to the Indian soldiers who had fallen at the Battle of Haifa in 1918. PM Netanyahu participated in the 2nd India-Israel CEO Forum meeting, Business Summit, Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi and visited i-CREATE (International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology) and held Interactions with innovators/Start-up CEOs in Ahmedabad. He also visited Centre of Excellence for fruits and vegetables at Vadrad, Gujarat and jointly inaugurated the Centre of Excellence for Date Palms at Bhuj through video link. Both the sides decided to exchange a hundred member youth delegation in the science stream.
(b) No specific negotiation on terrorism were held with Israel during the visit of Prime Minister Netanyahu to India.
(c) & (d) No such proposal is pending with the Government. Source: Ministry of External Affairs
List of MoUs/Agreements signed during the Visit of the King of Jordan to India (March 01, 2018), New Delhi, March 01, 2018
Name of MoUs/ Agreements
MoU on Defence Cooperation
Purpose of the MoU is to promote cooperation between India and Jordan in the field of Defence by defining the scope of such cooperation and making provisions for implementation of the cooperation in some of the recognized areas like training; defence industry; counter-terrorism; military studies; cyber security; military medical services, peace-keeping etc.
Visa waiver for diplomatic and official passport holders
This Agreement provides for permitting the diplomats and Official passport holders of India and Jordan to enter into, exit and transit through the territory of each other without requirement of visa.
Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP)
This programme for the period 2018-2022 provides for exchanges between India and Jordan in the areas of music and dance; theatre; exhibition, seminars and conference; archaeology; archives, library, museum, literature, research and documentation; Science museums; festivals; mass media, and; youth programs.
Manpower Cooperation Agreement
This MoU provides for cooperation between India and Jordan with a view to promote best practices in the administration of the cycle of contract employment of the Indian nationals in Jordan.
MoU for cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine between India and Jordan
The objective of this MoU is to establish and encourage cooperation in the fields of health, medical science, medical education and research on the basis of equality and mutual benefits in accordance with respective legislations and regulations of India and Jordan. The various recognized areas of mutual cooperation include Universal Health Coverage (UHC); Services and IT in Health; Health Research; National Health Statistics; Diagnosis, Treatment and Medication of TB, and; Regulation of Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices etc.
MoU for setting up of the next generation Centre of Excellence (COE) in Jordan
Purpose is to set up next generation Centre of Excellence (COE) in Jordan for training of minimum 3000 Jordanian IT professionals over a period of 5 years, and setting up of resource centre in India for Training of Master trainers in IT field from Jordan.
MoU for long term supply of Rock Phosphate and Fertilizer/NPK
The purpose of the MoU is mining and beneficiation of rock phosphate and setting up of production facility in Jordan for Phosphoric acid/DAP/NPK fertilizers, with a long term agreement for 100% off-take to India. Such an MoU ensures long term and sustained supply of rock phosphates to India.
Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement
This Agreement provides for mutual assistance between India and Jordan to ensure proper application of the customs legislations in the two countries to prevent custom offences and for smooth exchange of accurate information regarding custom duties, taxes, fees and other charges levied by custom administration.
Twining Agreement between Agra and Petra (Jordan)
By this Agreement, the two municipalities of Agra and Petra pronounced to work jointly for promotion of social relations by identifying the activities for mutual cooperation in tourism, culture, sports and economic sectors.
Cooperation between Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) and Jordan Media Institute (JMI)
The purpose of this MoU is development of joint projects between the two institutes; joint organization of academic and scientific activities, and; exchange of staff, students and materials of common interest.
MoU between Prasar Bharati and Jordan TV
This MoU provides for cooperation between Prasar Bharati and Jordan Radio and TV Corporation to cooperate in the fields of exchange and co-production of programs, training of personnel and further coordination.
MoU between University of Jordan (UJ) and ICCR regarding setting up of a Hindi Chair at the University
This MoU lays down the basis and other conditions for cooperation between ICCR and UJ in establishment and functioning of the ICCR Chair for Hindi language in UJ.
Source: Ministry of External Affairs
Speech by the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind at the Banquet Hosted in Honour of His Majesty King Abdullah-Ii Ibn Al Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Rashtrapati Bhavan, 1 March 2018.
Marhaba and a very warm welcome to you, Your Majesty, and to your distinguished delegation.
We have gathered here to celebrate our friendship and our special ties. Our two countries share ancient connections; and we both have followed similar political trajectories.
On these strong foundations, today, we have built a modern partnership.
Your Majesty, your State Visit in 2006 laid the way for a closer engagement between our two countries.
Our mutual commitment to scale up the relationship has since been at work. We have exchanged several high level visits.
Our Prime Minister was received in Amman with special warmth and affection last month. You paid personal attention to his visit and went out of your way to ensure that it was a memorable one. You also made special arrangement for his onward journey to Ramallah. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for this exceptional gesture.
We count you among our closest friends and deeply value your partnership.
Your Majesty, Jordan has played a key role in the Middle East. Your country has been an oasis of stability in the region.
We admire your vision and leadership to bring peace and prosperity in your neighbourhood. We have equally high regard for your late father His Majesty King Hussein. He led his people with foresight, sagacity and courage.
We deeply appreciate you providing hope and shelter to a large number refugees. As a close friend and partner, I am happy that we are giving you a helping hand in rendering humanitarian assistance to them.
Your Majesty, your views on religious moderation and inter-faith dialogue come as a beacon of hope for us and for many.
Indeed, as you said in your address this morning - Faith should only draw humanity together, bring different civilizations to understand and embrace each other.
Our people fully share your vision and desire to build a future of peace and prosperity for our children.
We strongly support the Aqaba process you have initiated. We must come together, firmly and decisively, to defeat terrorism.
Your Majesty, we have come a long way in our bilateral journey. But we can do much more together. We must bring the thrill of the blockbuster ‘THEEB’ and the vibrancy of Bollywood to India-Jordan partnership.
In this respect, I must say, your State Visit is most timely. The agenda that we have set for ourselves be it enhancing security cooperation or expanding our economic collaboration, would take our partnership to newer heights. The Indian growth story presents many opportunities for both of us.
Our relationship, Your Majesty, has many champions. But none more than our farmers. You have given them fertilizers and more food crops. Our cultural connect and people-to-people relations are our biggest strengths. These have led to an invisible thread binding us together, be it the carvings of Petra in Jordan or the rock-cut architecture of Ajanta in India. Let us nurture and celebrate these special ties.
Your Majesty, I take this opportunity to convey my deepest appreciation to you for the assistance extended to Indian citizens in times of instability in the region. We remain ever grateful for this.
With these words, I once again extend to you, Your Majesty, a warm welcome and wish you and your people peace, progress and prosperity.
Thank you very much, Shukran Jazeelan. Source: Press Information Bureau
English Translation of Prime Minister's speech on Islamic Heritage: Promoting Understanding and Moderation (March 01, 2018), 01 March 2018.
Your Majesty the King of Jordan Janaab Abdullah Ibn Al Hussain,
Religious scholars, top leaders and distinguished guests present here,
It’s a matter of great pleasure and pride for me that today the King of Jordan is present here amongst this gathering of a few selected leaders and religious scholars of India.
Describing something about you is beyond words.
Also, the important role played by you in creating the true identity of Islam cannot be explained, it can only be felt.
His Highness, the book of Prince Ghazi which has been discussed here just a while ago is also the result of the efforts made in Jordan under your leadership.
I am completely hopeful that it will be of great help for the curious minds to understand Islam and the youth all over the world will read it.
With the kind of ease, simplicity and sobriety you have accepted my request to attend this event very clearly shows your affection towards India and its people.
Your country Jordan which is a friend of us is an indelible name in the historical and religious books.
Jordan is situated on such a holy land from where the message of God reverberated in the entire world in the form of the voice of prophets and saints.
You yourself are a wise person and very much familiar with India. You know it very well that all the major religions of the world have flourished in India’s cradle.
All the religions and sects have flourished on the Indian soil. They breathed, they got life here.
Be it the Lord Buddha two thousand five hundred years ago or Mahatma Gandhi in the last century.
The sweet fragrance of the message of peace and love has spread in the entire world from India’s garden. For centuries, the light of the message of this place has shown us the right path.
The calming effect of this message has also applied a balm on the wounds. Leave aside the philosophy and religion, common people of India are full of this understanding that all the people have the light of that one power. Every single thing has the reflection of that same God.
As per the ancient belief India’s capital Delhi is Indraprastha. It was also the land of poetry of Sufi saints.
The mausoleum of a very prominent Sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, who was discussed a while ago, is just at a short distance from here. The name Dilli has been derived from the word Dehleej.
This doorstep of the land of two rivers – Ganga-Jamuna is the gateway to India’s mixed Ganga-Jamuni culture.
The ancient Indian philosophy and the mixed tradition of the love and humanity of Sufi saints have given the message of fundamental unity of the mankind from here.
This feeling of oneness of mankind has given India the philosophy of the whole world being one family (Vasudhaiv Kutumbkam). It means that India and Indians have established their own identity by considering the entire world as one family.
Cultural and social diversity and plurality and the openness of our approach, this is the identity of India.
Every Indian is proud of our this unique trait of this diversity of our legacy and this legacy of diversity even if he may speak any language, even if he is the one who lights a lamp in a Temple or the one who bows down in a Mosque or it is somebody who offers prayer in a Church or one who sings Shabad in a Gurudwara.
At present the colourful festival of Holi is being celebrated in India. Buddhist new year just begun a few days ago.
At the end of this month entire country will celebrate Good Friday and after a few weeks it will celebrate the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha.
Then after some time there will be the holy month of Ramzan at the end of which the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr will remind us of sacrifice and mutual harmony and synergy.
These are some of the examples of many Indian festivals which are the festivals of peace and harmony.
Democracy is just not a political system in the world’s largest democracy India but it also the fundamental basis of equality, diversity and concord.
Indian democracy is a celebration of our age old plurality. This is that power because of which every Indian has respect for his glorious past, belief in the present and confidence about the future.
The rich diversity of our tradition provides us that support which is extremely essential in fight against the challenges like terrorism and extremism in today’s world that is full of uncertainties and apprehensions; that has been plagued by violence and rancour.
This legacy and value of ours, the message of our religions and their principles are those powers on the basis of which we can overcome challenges like violence and terrorism.
Those who carry out barbaric attacks against humanity probably fail to understand that the damage is being done to that religion only on whose behalf they claim to stand for.
The movement against terrorism, extremism and radicalization is not against any sect. It is against that mentality which compels our youth, by misguiding them, to carry out atrocities on the innocent people.
In India, it is our effort to take everyone along for the progress of everyone. Because the destiny of the entire country is linked with the progress of every citizen. Because the happiness of the country is linked with the happiness of everyone.
Your presence here in such a large number is indicative of the fact that how much yearning, how much commitment you have for showing the path to the coming generations. This also symbolizes the fact that you not only lay emphasis on the progress of youth but also on providing them the teachings of human values.
Holistic happiness and all round development are only possible when you ensure that the Muslims youth have a Quran Sharif on one hand and a computer on the other.
The essence of religion can never be inhuman. Every sect, every creed, every tradition exists only for furthering the human values.
Therefore, today it is most essential that while on the one hand our youths are connected to humane Islam and on the other they can also use the modern science and means for progress.
The steps which have been taken under your guidance they are extremely helpful in containing the fire of barbarism.
It’s a matter of pleasure for us that two Indians too have been signatory to the Amman Declaration and they are present here amongst us.
It is our effort to create this kind of responsible awareness with the help of influential leaders like you, with the friends like Jordan and with the cooperation of the leaders of all the sects and religions which will show the path to the entire mankind.
All our efforts will be further strengthened due to your presence. India would like to walk with you side by side in your efforts made in the direction of de-radicalization.
More than a thousand Indian Ulemas, religious scholars and leaders are present here to assure about this thing. They are also present here so that they hear your thoughts. Because, we will gain both courage and guidance from your leadership. I am extremely grateful to you for accepting the invitation to be here.
I thank you very much for participating in this event.
Thank you very much. Source: Ministry of External Affairs
Question No. 2262, Indians Stranded in Kuwait, Rajya Sabha, 15 March 2018
2262. DR. PRADEEP KUMAR BALMUCHU:
SHRI DHARMAPURI SRINIVAS:
Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state
(a) whether Government's attention has been drawn to the problems of Indians stranded in Kuwait who are willing to come back to India on amnesty granted by Kuwait;
(b) whether it is a fact that in spite of approaching the Indian Embassy in Kuwait they are not getting any help and if so, the reasons therefor; and
(c) whether Government has made any arrangements to bring them back and if so, the details thereof?
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS [GEN. (DR) V. K. SINGH (RETD)]
(a) The Government is aware of the on-going Amnesty in Kuwait for expatriates residing illegally in that country. Our Mission in Kuwait is fully prepared to handle the situation arising from the Amnesty offer.
(b) No. Our Mission is extending full support to all those stranded Indian nationals who are eligible to avail of the Amnesty offer.
(c) Our Mission has been issuing travel documents (Emergency Certificates) to Indian nationals who are not in possession of valid passports. During the Amnesty period, 9,605 Emergency Certificates have been issued till March 7, 2018. In addition, all possible assistance including through the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) is being rendered by our Mission. One way air tickets and financial assistance is being provided to deserving stranded Indians. Source: Ministry of External Affairs
Question No. 2260, Death Sentence to Indians in Kuwait, Rajya Sabha, 15 March 2018.
2260. SHRI NARAYAN LAL PANCHARIYA:
Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:
(a) whether Government has taken up the matter regarding award of death sentence to 15 Indian nationals in Kuwait with the Kuwait Government;
(b) if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor;
(c) whether Government has provided legal and consular aid to other Indian nationals lodged in Kuwait jails in securing their release;
(d) if so, the details thereof and if not, reasons therefor; and
(e) whether any of these arrested Indian nationals belong to Rajasthan and if so, the details thereof?
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS [SHRI M.J. AKBAR]
(b) The death sentences have been commuted to life imprisonment.
(c) & (d) Embassy’s consular officers/officials regularly visit Indian nationals lodged in Kuwaiti jails. In all deserving cases, consular/legal assistance and guidance are provided as per Ministry’s guidelines.
(e) State-wise information is not provided by the Kuwaiti authorities. Source: Ministry of External Affairs
Indian Embassy organized "Made in India" Exhibition, Kuwait, 22 March 2018.
India-Kuwait bilateral relations extend back into history, and are characterized by extreme cordiality, understanding and friendship. This relationship straddles various dimensions including economic and commercial. In an effort to further expand and deepen the economic and commercial engagement between the two countries, the Embassy of India in Kuwait, in coordination with Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC) of Kuwait, has organized the ‘Made in India’ exhibition on 21 March 2018 in Hotel Holiday Inn, Kuwait City.
India’s economic footprint globally has been expanding over the years, with Indian products, technology, investments and human resource capital leading the way. Showcasing these strengths, a wide range of Indian products, machinery and equipment were displayed at the exhibition, representing more than fifty world class brands from India. Sectors on display included – Agriculture, Engineering Construction, Oil and Gas, Textiles, Homecare Products, Health & Pharmaceuticals, Food and Food processing etc.
H.E. Mr. Nimer Fahad Al Malik Al Sabah, Assistant Undersecretary for International Organizations and Foreign Trade Affairs, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, representing the Govt. of Kuwait, inaugurated the exhibition. The exhibition attracted ordinary Kuwaiti people as well as businessmen and industrialists. The Embassy of India is confident that this endeavour will help further strengthen the Economic and Commercial relations between the friendly countries of India and Kuwait. Source: Embassy of India, Kuwait
Indian Embassy Celebrates Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation Programme (ITEC) Day’ 2018, Muscat, 7 March 2018
The Embassy of India, Muscat, celebrated ‘Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation’ (ITEC) Programme Day on Tuesday, 6th March 2018. Around 150 ITEC Alumni from Oman, comprising Omani Officials and professionals, who have participated in various training courses in India under ITEC Programme during previous years, attended the celebration.
The ITEC Programme was launched in September 1964 as a bilateral programme of assistance of the Government of India for capacity building of friendly developing countries. It has emerged as a key vehicle for India’s contribution to Human Resource Development of partner countries. Under ITEC Programme, Officials from 161 countries from Asia, Africa, East Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean as well as Pacific and Small Island countries are invited to benefit from India’s developmental experience. Under the ITEC Programme, every year India provides around 12,000 scholarships for around 300 short, medium and long-term training courses conducted in 47 state-of-art institutions of learning & excellence.
In view of India’s exceptionally close relations with Oman, Government of India has offered 100 scholarships for Oman under the ITEC Programme for the period April 2017- March 2018. Over the years, ITEC Programme has received a good response and hundreds of Omani Government officials have attended ITEC courses.
The ITEC Programme covers a diverse range of subjects from traditional areas like agriculture, SMEs, management, English language to IT, Science & Technology, biotechnology, etc. The skills which are being provided under ITEC Programme facilitate human resource development, capacity building, skill up gradation and empowerment.
‘ITEC Day’ celebration is India’s annual endeavour to bring ITEC alumni together so that they can share their experiences and views on India with one another. The ITEC Day provided an opportunity to the ITEC Alumni, who have been trained in India under this Programme, to get-together at the Embassy to interact among themselves and learn from their experiences. ITEC Alumni were invited to speak to share their experience of training under the ITEC Programme in India. They spoke about the benefits of ITEC courses not only in providing knowledge and expertise but in giving them an opportunity to interact with trainees from other countries and learn more about India and its culture and traditions.
Speaking, on the occasion, Ambassador of India to the Sultanate of Oman, Shri Indra Mani Pandey, highlighted various facets of India’s strategic partnership with Oman, underlining the desire of the Governments of India and Oman, as reflected in India-Oman Joint Statement, issued during the visit of Prime Minister of India to the Sultanate of Oman (11-12 February 2018), to expand the bilateral cooperation to new areas, including human resource development. He highlighted India’s achievements in human resource development, including its focus on skill development, development of SME’s and entrepreneurship and promotion of innovation and start-ups. He reiterated the commitment of Government of India to share its experience in these areas with Oman, stressing that training under ITEC Programme also serves this purpose. He conveyed the readiness of External Affairs Ministry of India to design customized courses for Oman under its ITEC Programme. Source: Embassy of India, Muscat
Indian Embassy hosts Roadshow to promote tourism to India, Muscat, 28 March 2018.
Embassy of India, Muscat, organized an ‘India Tourism Roadshow’ on 27th March 2018, to promote ‘Incredible India’ as a preferred destination for tourism including medical and wellness tourism for Omanis. The Roadshow was organized with a view to familiarize various stakeholders in outbound tourism from Oman with the increasing ease with which people can travel to India as well as the diverse tourist attractions and advanced medical facilities in India. H.E Ambassador, Sheikh Hilal Marhoun Salim Al Maamari, Chief of West Asia Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs was the Chief Guest and Mr. Mohammed Al Riyami, Director, International Cooperation, Ministry of Tourism was the Guest of Honour. Around 180 Omani Officials and representatives of tour operators, travel agents, airlines and other stakeholders participated in the Roadshow.
2. Representative of India Tourism, Dubai, Shri. I.V. Rao, made a presentation on ‘Incredible India’. Representatives of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, States of India, also made presentations on tourist attractions of their States. A video highlighting tourist attractions of Goa was also played. As the Embassy has been taking initiatives for increasing the ease with which people can travel to India, Shri. Kannan Nair- Second Secretary (Consular) at the Embassy gave an overview on visa requirements for travel to India.
3. The Embassy has been engaged in various activities for promoting tourism, including medical tourism, from Oman to India. Over the years, the number of visas issued by the Embassy has increased from about 59,000 issued in 2013 to 101,578 visas, including 35,920 e-visas, in 2017. Notably, about 95% of visas issued in 2017 were for tourism and medical tourism purposes. Due to introduction of e-Visa, people of Oman are able to obtain short term visas through online procedure, which has also contributed to rise in number of Omanis visiting India.
4. India and Oman are maritime neighbours, with historical people-to-people contacts, spanning over 5000 years. The two countries are well-connected through around 250 weekly flights with capacity of 27,405 weekly seats from each side. Oman Air connects Muscat to 11 cities in India; Salalah is also connected to various Indian cities. People of Oman are generally familiar with India’s natural beauty, rich cultural diversity and historical sites as well as India’s advantage as a premier healthcare destination. In recent years, India has emerged as one of the coveted destinations for tourism, including medical tourism, for people of Oman.
5. Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador of India, Shri Indra Mani Pandey, highlighted the historical relations between India and Oman anchored in people-to-people contacts and called for expanding tourism exchanges between the two countries in order to strengthen bilateral relations. He pointed out that Indian community can play the role of a catalyst in encouraging mutual tourism. In this context, he referred to the MoU between India and Oman on Cooperation in Tourism, which was signed during the visit of Honourable Prime Minister of India to Oman during 11-12 February 2018. Source: Embassy of India, Muscat
Increase in India’s Contribution to UNRWA, Ramallah, 28 March 2018.
In response to the United Nation’s Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Flah Appeal, the Government of India has increased its annual contribution for UNRWA from US $1.25 million to US $5 million for 2018-2019 for three years. India made this announcement of this substantive increase of annual contribution to UNRWA at the extraordinary Ministerial Conference held in Rome on 15 March 2018. This enhancement was made in the backdrop of the unprecedented financial crisis being faced by UNRWA, which has been delivering valuable public services to Palestine Refugees across the world.
The four fold increase in our contribution is based on EAM’s commitment to enhance our support to UNRWA at the NAM Ministerial meeting on Palestine on 19 September, 2017. It is also part of our enhanced engagement with Palestine, particularly in the wake of PM’s first ever historic visit to Palestine on 10 February, 2018. Source: Embassy of India, Ramallah
Cabinet approves revision of the Agreement between India and Qatar for the avoidance of double taxation and for the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income, New Delhi, 21 March 2018
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for revision of the Agreement between India and Qatar for the avoidance of double taxation and for the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.
The existing Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with Qatar was signed on 7thApril, 1999 and came into force on 15thJanuary, 2000.The revised DTAA updates the provisions for exchange of information to latest standard, includes Limitation of Benefits provision to prevent treaty shopping and aligns other provisions with India's recent treaties. The revised DTAA meets the minimum standards on treaty abuse under Action 6 and Mutual Agreement Procedure under Action 14 of G-20 OECD Base Erosion & Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project, in which India participated on an equal footing. Source: Press Information Bureau
Question No. 4298, Non-Payment of Wages to Workers in Qatar, Lok Sabha, 21 March 2018.
4298. DR. KIRIT P. SOLANKI:
Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state
(a) whether a large number of Indian migrant workers in Qatar have gone unpaid for up to four months and if so, the details thereof and the steps taken by the Government to resolve this issue;
(b) the measures undertaken by the Government to ensure the protection of interests of Indian migrant workers in the Gulf nations;
(c) whether the Government has identified the reasons behind such problems which persist despite reforms like the introduction of a Wage Protection System and if so, the details thereof; and
(d) whether any special provisions have been made to promote the welfare of women workers and if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor?
MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS [GEN. (DR) V.K. SINGH (RETD)]
(a) to (c) The Indian Mission in Qatar has informed that no such case has specifically been reported to them in the recent past where Indian nationals have not been paid their monthly wages for up to four months. However, the Mission had received a request in February, 2017 where 162 workers employed in M/S Scale Trading & Contracting Company had not received their salary for five months and denied final settlement and exit permit with passport. Mission had taken up the matter with the Qatari authorities. The Mission arranged the air tickets from Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) and repatriated 160 Indian emigrant workers while the remaining 2 opted to continue working in the company.
The Government of Qatar launched a Wage Protection System (WPS) in November 2015, which made it mandatory for all companies to pay salaries of their workers directly into their bank accounts. However, there are other reasons also, due to which workers sometimes face problems, such as:
(i) disputes with sponsors/company;
(ii) underpayment of salary/allowances;
(iii) non-payment of overtime;
(iv) premature termination of services;
(v) non-release of passports;
(vi) unhygienic living conditions in camps; and
(vii) non-availability of proper medical facilities etc.
Indian Missions take up these issues immediately with concerned Government authorities for prompt redressal.
The Government has taken several steps to safeguard the interests of Indian emigrants to the Gulf countries, these are:
(i) The on-line MADAD portal enables the emigrant workers and their family members to register their consular grievances online and track their redressal.
(ii) Grievances related to Overseas Employment in notified Emigration Check Required (ECR) countries including gulf countries, can also be logged in directly by emigrants/relatives or through the Overseas Workers Resource Centre (OWRC) on eMigrate portal. These grievances are settled by respective jurisdictional Protectors of Emigrants (PoEs) as per laid down procedures.
(iii) Missions in Gulf countries also conduct Open Houses on a regular basis where workers can seek redressal of their grievances.
(iv) A multi-lingual 24X7 Helpline of Overseas Workers Resource Centre (OWRC) in New Delhi provides information, guidance and grievance redressal on all issues and problems pertaining to overseas employment of Indian nationals.
(v) Missions in Gulf countries have also established 24x7 helplines and Toll Free help lines for the benefit of Indian workers to seek help.
(vi) Indian Workers Resource Centres (IWRC) have been set up at Dubai (UAE), Sharjah (UAE), Riyadh, Jeddah (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), to provide guidance and counselling on all matters pertaining to overseas Indian workers.
(vii) Migrant Resource Centres in Delhi, Kochi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Lucknow have been merged with PoE Offices for greater synergies in assisting emigrants or their relatives to redress their problems/complaints regarding overseas employment.
(viii) The Missions utilize the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) to provide assistance to overseas Indian nationals in times of distress.
(ix) Suitable accommodation to distressed Indian nationals has been setup in Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and Malaysia to provide temporary accommodation.
(x) Labour and Manpower Cooperation MoUs/Agreements are already in place with the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries that provide the institutional framework to comprehensively discuss and review labour related issues.
(d) In order to promote the welfare and protection of women workers, Government has taken further measures in restricting the recruitment of ECR passport holding Indian female workers only through six State Government recruiting agencies w.e.f. 2nd August, 2016 to avoid their harassment by foreign employers. The Foreign Employers who intend to recruit Indian female domestic workers directly, have to register themselves on e-Migrate System with the respective Missions and deposit a bank guarantee equivalent to US$2500/-. The age restriction of 30 years has also been made mandatory in respect of all women emigrants emigrating on ECR passport, irrespective of the nature/category of employment. Further, mandatory Insurance and medical cover is extended to all Indian workers including women, through Pravasi Bhartiya Bima Yojana (PBBY). The Missions are also proactive in providing medical and legal support to distressed Indian women workers and take all possible measures, using ICWF funds for their speedy repatriation to India. The Mission houses such women workers at its premises as they await completion of their repatriation process by the Deportation Centre. Source: Ministry of External Affairs
Question No. 380, Temple in Abu Dhabi, Lok Sabha, 21 March 2018
*380. SHRI P. NAGARAJAN:
DR. C. GOPALAKRISHNAN:
Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:
(a) whether the Government has decided to build a Temple in Abu Dhabi and if so, the details thereof;
(b) whether the Prime Minister has laid the foundation stone for the same during his recent visit to Abu Dhabi; and
(c) if so, the details thereof including its cost along with its source of funding and the time frame for the completion of the said temple?
THE MINISTER FOR EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
(SHRIMATI SUSHMA SWARAJ)
(a) to (c) A statement is laid on the Table of the House.
STATEMENT REFERRED TO IN REPLY TO PARTS (a) TO (c) OF THE LOK SABHA STARRED QUESTION NO. 380 REGARDING "TEMPLE IN ABU DHABI” FOR ANSWER ON 21.03.2018
(a) No, Madam.
(b) At an Indian Community function held in Dubai on 11.2.2018, Prime Minister witnessed the ground-breaking ceremony of a temple being constructed in Abu Dhabi through live feed and unveiled a replica of temple complex.
(c) At the request of the Indian Community in the United Arab Emirates, the host Government has allotted a plot of land near Abu Dhabi for construction of a temple. The decisions on design, cost estimates and time-frame of construction of the building are being taken by the Indian Community, which is financing the project. Source: Ministry of External Affairs
As part of the policy, the MEI@ND standardizes spellings and date format to make the text uniformly accessible and stylistically consistent. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views/positions of the MEI@ND. Editor, MEI@ND P R Kumaraswamy
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BILATERAL ISSUES BAHRAIN Cabinet approves MoU between India and Bahrain on cooperation in the field of H.....
BILATERAL ISSUES IRAN External Affairs Minister’s meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister, New Delhi.....
BILATERAL ISSUES IRAN Cabinet approves MoU between India and Iran on the establishment of an expert grou.....
(Monthly Digest of Official Indian Statements on Middle East) &.....
(Monthly Digest of Official Indian Statements on Middle East) BILATERAL ISSUES IRAN Launch of Admissi.....
(Monthly Digest of Official Indian Statements on Middle East) BILATERAL ISSUES  .....
INDIA WATCH, JULY 2018, ISSUE NO. 102 POLITICAL IRAN US tells India, China to end o.....
INDIA WATCH, JUNE 2018, ISSUE NO. 101 POLITICAL EGYPT India-Egypt economic ties improving: out.....
INDIA WATCH, MAY 2018, ISSUE NO.100 POLITICAL IRAN Iran urges for restraint in Jammu and Ka.....
BILATERAL ISSUES IRAN 1. 6th Meeting of Joint Committee on Ports and Maritime Cooperation between t.....
POLITICAL EGYPT Egypt signs agreement to join International Solar Alliance Cairo, Sunday, 11 March 20.....
POLITICAL IRAN Iran president meets with religious scholars in Hyderabad Hyderabad, Friday, 16 Februa.....
POLITICAL BAHRAIN Rahul Gandhi in Bahrain New Delhi, Tuesday, 9 January 2018 Addressing NRIs in Ba.....
1 January 2018 POLITICAL EGYPT India to set up IT centre in Egypt's Al Azhar University.....
POLITICAL ISRAEL Ministry of Defence scraps $500 million Israeli missile deal, wants DRDO to make in&nbs.....
POLITICAL IRAN India defends diplomatic ties with Iran in talks with Rex Tillerson New Delh.....
POLITICAL ISRAEL India to bid for Israel oil-and-gas exploration blocks New Delhi, Tuesday, 5 Septemb.....
Pakistan Watch, August Issue 2018, No. 93, Divya Malhotra POLITICAL ISSUES TUNISIA Pakista.....
POLITICAL ISSUES EGYPT 1. India, Egypt to support each other’s candidates for UNESCO, ICJ .....
POLITICAL IRAN China urges Salvaging of Iran nuclear deal Beijing, Wednesday, 9 May 2018 China has.....
POLITICAL ISSUES IRAN 1. Cabinet approves Bilateral MoU between India and Iran New Delhi, Wednesday, .....
IRAN Defence Minister of Iran meets Pakistan’s Minister for Defence Engineer Islamabad, Saturday,.....
ECONOMIC KUWAIT Kuwait calls for increase in investment from China Kuwait City, Tuesday, 20 March 201.....
POLITICAL ISSUES EGYPT The Grand Mufti of Egypt visited Pakistan Islamabad, Thursday, 22 March 2018.....
POLITICAL ISSUES IRAN China sets up traffic control area Beijing, Thursday, 1 February 2018 China .....
POLITICAL ISSUES EGYPT Six arrested Pakistanis released by Egypt’s court Islamabad, Wednesday,.....
POLITICAL ISSUES IRAN China calls for cherishing Iran Nuclear Deal Beijing, Saturday, 13 January 2018.....
POLITICAL ISSUES LEBANON Pakistan, Lebanon discuss bilateral ties Islamabad, Tuesday, 2 January 2018.....
POLITICAL ISSUES IRAN Iran and China to boost their military relations Beijing, Tuesday, 12 December.....
POLITICAL ISSUES QATAR Pakistan, Lebanon discuss bilateral ties Islamabad, Tuesday, 5 December 2017 .....
POLITICAL ISSUES EGYPT China-Egypt vows to promote comprehensive strategic partnership Sharm el Sheik.....
POLITICAL ISSUES EGYPT P.....
POLITICAL ISSUES BAHRAIN Bahrain health minister visits Pakistan Islamabad, Sunday, 8 .....
POLITICAL ISSUES ARAB LEAGUE 1.Pakistan’s role in regional peace appreciated by Arab league Is.....
POLITICAL ISSUES JORDAN China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Sa.....
POLITICAL ISSUES IRAN 1.Senate Chairman meets Rouhani; discusses Kashmir issue Islamabad, Monday,.....
POLITICAL ISSUES EGYPT 1) Egyptian Ambassador talks about bi-lateral ties Beijing, Sunday, 27 August .....
President Trump's decision on Jerusalem Note: US President Donald Trump’s decision of 6 December.....
Note: The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran Nuclear Deal was .....
Note: During 15-17 February 2018, Hassan Rouhani, the President of the Islamic Republic of India, visited Indi.....
Note: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel visited Israel during 14-16 January 2018. This was the secon.....
On February 10, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Palestine, nine months after Palestinian President .....