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QUESTION NO.2018 ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS OF FORGERY

August 05, 2021

RAJYA SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.2018
TO BE ANSWERED ON 05.08.2021

ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS OF FORGERY

2018. SHRI SYED ZAFAR ISLAM:

Will the Minister of External Affairs be pleased to state:

(a) the steps taken by the Ministry to check fraud in the name of providing jobs abroad and torture of youth by fake institutions;

(b) the steps taken to provide immediate assistance by Indian Embassies to the Indian citizens who become victims of forgery in foreign country;

(c) whether the Ministry has made arrangement of online mechanism to bring improvement in this area; and

(d) if so, the action taken by the Ministry against forgery and fake institutions?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[SHRI V. MURALEEDHARAN]

(a) to (d) Complaints are received from time to time by the Ministry of External Affairs from Indian emigrants, or their relatives, who are dispatched for overseas employment fraudulently by illegal agents/fake agencies or fake institutions, and are thereafter subjected to fraud, cheating, denial of jobs, poor working conditions, etc. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has robust grievance redressal mechanisms, which include registering complaints through MADAD and e-Migrate as well as e-mails, complaints through social media accounts, Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendras (PBSKs) and even walk-in complaint at Mission/Consulate and PBSKs abroad.

Wherever required, complaints are referred to Missions/Posts abroad for providing immediate relief/rescue of emigrants in distress and for early redressal of grievance with employer/sponsor and/or local authorities. In India, the complaints, with details of illegal agents and fake institutions, are forwarded to the concerned State/UT Government and Police authorities urging them to apprehend the illegal agents and prosecute them as per law. Prosecution Sanction are issued expeditiously by the Ministry of External Affairs, enabling the State Government/Police authorities to initiate legal action against the accused agents and fake institutions. Government also issued a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in 2016, to be followed by State Governments, on receipt of such complaints. The State Governments have also been requested to launch periodic visual and print media campaigns for creating awareness amongst the populace in their regional languages.

The Government has taken several steps, including online mechanism to protect/safeguard the interests of Indian emigrants including youth, from fraud by fake agencies and institutions, and also exploitation and harassment by foreign employers in the Gulf and other ECR countries. These include:

(i) The e-migrate portal, which lists the details of all legal/registered recruiting agencies, and also the list of illegal/fake agencies & institutions, which is updated regularly. Further, grievances can be lodged on this portal.

(ii) A multi-lingual 24X7 Helpline called Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendra (PBSK) in New Delhi provides information on genuineness of Recruiting Agencies, guidance and grievance redressal on all issues and problems pertaining to overseas employment of Indian nationals, through telephones, whatsapp & email.

(iii) Kshetriya Pravasi Sahayata Kendras (KPSKs) have been setup in Kochi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Lucknow and Delhi to assist emigrants or their relatives to redress check for genuineness of the Recruiting Agencies as well as their problems/complaints regarding overseas employment.

(iv) Overseas Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendras (PBSKs) have been set up at Dubai (UAE), Riyadh, Jeddah (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), to provide guidance and counseling on all matter pertaining to overseas Indian workers, Mission have also established 24X7 Helplines and Toll Free Helplines for the benefit of Indian workers to seek help.

(v) The On-line MADAD portal enables the emigrant workers and their family members to register their consular grievances on-line and track their redressal.

(vi) Grievances are settled by respective jurisdictional Protectors of Emigrants (PoEs) as per laid down procedures.

(vii) Indian Missions conduct Open Houses on a regular basis where workers can speak on their working conditions and seek redressal of their grievances.

(viii) Grievances brought to the notice of the Ministry and the Missions through social media, including Twitter, are promptly addressed.

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