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11 Mär 2021

Indian Govt. restores minimum wage for Gulf workers after workers' association launched repeal campaign

In September 2020, the Ministry of External Affairs in India issued two wage circulars which reduced the minimum monthly wages for migrants recruited to work in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE by between 20 and 50%. Only Qatar and Kuwait currently have minimum wage laws.

Reporting from Article 14 subsequently found evidence of contract substitution by recruitment agents and Gulf employers who rolled back offers of higher pay following the announcements. Workers who had agreed to employed and signed a contract in India found that their salaries had been lowered when they arrived in the Gulf, with employers citing the pandemic as a reason.

The wage reductions have met with opposition from the Telangana government and the Telangana Gulf Workers Joint Action Committee (JAC). The Gulf JAC launched a programme in March 2021 which seeks to repeal the wage circulars and submitted a petition to MPs in all states on the impact of the wage reduction circulars.

In July 2021, the government revoked the circulars, restoring the earlier Minimum Referral Wages for migrant workers to the Gulf.

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