‘Lankan maid’ receives SR45,000 in back wages

Updated 07 October 2016

‘Lankan maid’ receives SR45,000 in back wages

RIYADH: An Indian woman, who had come to the Kingdom with a Sri Lanka passport as a housemaid, received SR45,000 in back wages for 14 years of employment on the intervention of the Sri Lankan Consulate in Jeddah.
The maid, Kedeswari Sellamuthu from Chennnai, Tamil Nadu, went to Sri Lanka in 2003 and was sent to the Kingdom for employment on a Sri Lankan passport.
Sellamuthu, who holds a passport under the name of Zareena Salee, confessed to the Sri Lankan Consulate in Jeddah that she had obtained a Sri Lankan passport through an agent who trained her to pose as a Muslim woman from Sri Lanka to obtain the Lankan passport. She had submitted forged documents to obtain a Sri Lankan passport from the Sri Lankan Immigration Department.
She said that there were two other women who had come to Sri Lanka in a similar situation, and they were sent to Kuwait for employment.
Sri Lankan Consul General Faizer Mackeen, who personally dealt with the case, told Arab News that this is a clear case of human trafficking into the Kingdom by unscrupulous agents in Sri Lanka.
Although the consulate has pursued the Saudi sponsor to obtain her back wages on humanitarian grounds, Mackeen said that the maid will be subject to severe grilling by investigators in Colombo to determine the culprits behind the scene.
On arrival at the Colombo airport, the maid will be taken for questioning by investigators.
”It needs the attention of the relevant authorities and investigations to find out the truth behind this racket, which could also be a security lapse,” the diplomat said.
Mackeen further explained that the maid had contracted with the Saudi employer for a monthly salary of SR400, which was not paid at all by the sponsor during the past 14 years. The sponsor, he said, has now paid the back wages as well as the airfare to Sri Lanka.
Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva alleged that there has been an “agency mafia” operating for a long time in the country which has been exploiting unsuspecting workers who depend on them to find work. ”This is a clear example of such an activity,” he added.
According to the deputy minister, job agents charge employers SR25,000 for each Sri Lankan sent to work in Saudi Arabia through the agency, while agent fees charged from all other nations remained less than SR15,000.

Green light for crown prince-led Saudi privatization program

Updated 25 April 2018

Green light for crown prince-led Saudi privatization program

  • The Privatization Program is one of 12 key elements of the Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030
  • The program is aimed at increasing job opportunities for Saudi nationals

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Council of Economic and Development Affairs on Tuesday approved the Privatization Program that is one of 12 key elements of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 

The program is aimed at increasing job opportunities for Saudi nationals, attracting the latest technologies and innovations, and supporting economic development.

It encourages both local and foreign investment in order to enhance the role of the private sector, with government entities adopting a regulatory and supervisory role. The aim is to increase the private sector’s contribution to GDP from 40 percent to 65 percent by 2030. 

The program will aim to reach its objectives through encouraging the private sector to invest in establishing new schools, universities and health centers, while the government pursues its organizational and supervisory role in health and education.

The privatization program aims to benefit from previous success stories, with the private sector’s collaboration in the development of infrastructure, and its involvement on a large scale in sectors such as energy, water, transport, telecommunications, petrochemicals and finance.

The program sets out a series of objectives in three areas: Developing a general legal framework for policies related to privatization; establishing organizational foundations and dedicated institutions to execute the policies; and setting a timescale for their delivery. 

The Council of Economic and Development Affairs is headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.