Hyderabad: The Center has decided to restore the minimum referral wages (MRWs) for Gulf workers that it had reduced a few months ago. Gulf migrants are rejoicing over the decision which will have a serious impact on the income of 88 lakh Indian workers and employees living in the Gulf countries.

The Centre on Friday said it will repeal the circulars issued last September that reduced the minimum referral wages (MRWs) for workers going to the six Arab Gulf countries.

"The MRWs for employment in six Gulf countries is the same now as it was in 2019-20. For a brief period of 10 months, the MRWs were adjusted downwards to protect our employment in the Gulf. As the labour market stabilized, the earlier MRW was made applicable once more," the minister of state for external affairs, V. Muraleedharan, said in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday. He was replying to a question by M.V Shreyams Kumar.

PIL in the HC and workers' movement

The Gulf workers had launched an agitation demanding the rollback of the revised MRWs. Telangana Gulf Workers Joint Action Committee (Gulf JAC) that led the movement had demanded the abolition of the circulars reducing the minimum wage.

Telangana minister KTR had appealed to the Center and MP K.R Suresh Reddy had raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha. Gulf migrant activist Bheem Reddy Mandha had filed a PIL in the Telangana High Court.

The Gulf JAC delegation, which left for Delhi in March on the sidelines of the Parliament sessions, met the minister of state for external affairs V. Muraladheeran and MPs from all parties and submitted petitions.

The Gulf JAC team includes Guggilla Ravi Goud, Swadesh Parkipandla, Patkuri Basanth Reddy, and Kotapati Narasimha Naidu.

HC hearing

Emigrants Welfare Forum president Bheem Reddy Mandha filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Telangana High Court in February seeking the repeal of two circulars issued by the Centre in September last year reducing the minimum wages for Gulf workers and the continuation of the old wages. A Bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijay Sen Reddy will hear the case on 29 July.

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