From: SHAH FAISAL KHAN <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 6:08 AM
Subject: [Hyderabad-Rocks] " Labor amnesty: Workers pin hopes on fresh relief-SAUDI ARABIA"
Labor amnesty: Workers pin hopes on fresh relief
Businesses and expats say they are pinning hopes on a possible royal gesture by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah before the advent of Ramadan to extend the July 3 amnesty deadline.
Foreign diplomats have also requested the Saudi government either to extend the deadline or declare a new three-month amnesty in the beginning of next Hijrah year to help more expats correct their labor status.
Mohammad Tayeb, director general of the Foreign Ministry's office in the Makkah region, confirmed that foreign diplomats had requested an extension in the deadline.
"The concerned departments will study the matter carefully to take an appropriate decision," he told Arab News.
A senior Labor Ministry official said only King Abdullah could extend the deadline.
"We welcome the calls to extend the deadline. But the amnesty, which is declared by King Abdullah, cannot be extended except by another royal decree," said Abdul Monem Al-Shahri, director of the Labor Office in Jeddah.
"We'll present these proposals to the concerned authorities and we'll continue our services to those foreigners who wanted to correct their status before the deadline," he added.
Thousands of expatriates as well as businesses pin their hopes on a new royal decree.
"We are looking forward to the magnanimity of King Abdullah to extend the deadline. He is well known for his humanitarian gestures," said Abubacker Abdul Rahman, a business consultant.
Indian Consul General Faiz Ahmad Kidwai reiterated his call for extending the deadline, saying it was essential for the thousands of foreign workers still waiting outside labor and passport offices to correct their status.
About 60 companies are expected to join a new job fair to be held at the International Indian School in Jeddah on Thursday.
Companies taking part in the new fair have projected requirements of more than 4,000 workers ranging from engineers and other executive positions to laborers, drivers and technicians, Kidwai told Arab News..