Fact Box: Nitaqat – Over 1 lakh Indians fear arrest in Saudi Arabia
Over 1 lakh Indians fear arrest in Saudi Arabia
The Indian workers in Saudi Arabia who have not been able regularise their work status are likely to be arrested as the country implements its controversial naturalisation law or Nitaqat, which seeks to replace foreigners in companies with its own people.
India will express its concern in the upcoming bilateral visit by an Indian foreign minister to the country. Out of the over 8 million expatriates in Saudi Arabia, Indians account for 2.45 million, the largest.
What is Nitaqat?
The Nitaqat is a new policy being placed by the Saudi government in order to reduce the unemployment rate among Saudi citizens. This policy makes it mandatory for Saudi Companies to reserve 10 percent of jobs for Saudi nationals.
Why Saudi Arabia is implementing such a policy?
Saudi Arabia’s economy depends heavily on the existence of a large proportion of expatriates working for various establishments in the private and public sector.
However, unlike the other states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Saudi Arabia has large number of unemployed citizens, which creates a state of resentment among those citizens.
As per estimates, the unemployment rate among Saudi nationals has reached 12%. More than 6.5 million non-Saudis are working in the private sector of the Kingdom compared to 7,00,000 Saudis.