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Why in news?

  • Despite a massive 50% drop in oil revenues and a downturn in the economy, Saudi Arabia’s investments in India will not be affected, the Kingdom’s Ambassador to India Saud bin Mohammed Al Sati said in a written interview.
  • At a time when a UN body has predicted a cut in about 1.7 million jobs in the Gulf region due to GDP losses the envoy says that worries of retrenchments are premature, but added that the Saudi government is working with India on the repatriation of those who need to return.

Highlights of what was said in the Interview

  • There are a large number of expatriates living in Saudi Arabia, which includes around three million Indians – the Kingdom is providing coronavirus related medical care free of charge to all residents in the country.
  • The Kingdom of Saudi have been working closely with the government of India to ensure that they are able to return to Saudi Arabia.
  • There is also the continuation of medical exports from India to the Saudi market.
  • Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports has also decided to extend the validity of exit and return visas.
  • Most of the Indian nationals who will be coming back in the coming days are people whose contracts have ended or those who would like to go home for personal reasons or were Umrah pilgrims who weren’t able to return on time because of the suspension of flights.
  • Considering the large Indian community in the Kingdom these numbers are within the range of several thousands.
March 2024