Sri Lanka urges KSA to raise minimum wage of housemaids

Updated 16 May 2015
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Sri Lanka urges KSA to raise minimum wage of housemaids

Sri Lanka has requested the Kingdom to increase the minimum wage of SR900 set for its domestic workers because of the rising cost of living in the island.
Thalatha Atukorale, Minister of Foreign Employment, made this request when she met the First Secretary of the Saudi Embassy Misary Al-Thiyabi at her office in Colombo on Thursday.
During the discussion with the Saudi official, she pointed out that with the cost of living rising globally, including the Kingdom, the need for a minimum wage has become important to keep up with daily expenses.
The minister said there are discrepancies in salaries paid to Lankan expatriate workers by various sponsors while adding that these anomalies could be rectified by introducing a minimum wage.
She has conveyed to the Saudi envoy, the desire of the government to begin talks with the relevant authorities in the Kingdom on the above issue.
According to Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment sources, the First Secretary has responded positively to the minister’s request and has said he would take steps to facilitate such talks.
Saudi Arabia currently employs the highest contingent of Lankan expatriate workers numbering over 500,000. This is close to one third of the country’s total migrant worker population.
According to an official from the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) , the minimum age limit for housemaids traveling to the Kingdom is 25.
He said that housemaids who come for foreign employment are given a 21-day residential training course before being posted to overseas stations.


Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior has received more than 120,000 applications for driving licenses so far

Updated 18 min 48 sec ago
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Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior has received more than 120,000 applications for driving licenses so far

RIYADH: The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior has established six driving schools for women in different regions of Saudi Arabia, according to an interior ministry spokesperson.

Mansour Al-Turki said on Sunday that the ministry has received more than 120,000 applications for driving licenses so far and demand is still very high.

Saudi women celebrated taking the wheel for the first time in decades on Sunday as the Kingdom overturned the world’s only ban on female motorists, a historic reform expected to usher in a new era of social mobility.

At a press conference to mark the occasion, Al-Turki said there are 9 districts where female driving schools have not yet been established and there is evidence to suggest women in these areas want to learn.

The interior ministry spokesperson urged motorists not to violate regulations and infringe on the rights and freedoms of others.

Meanwhile, Director General of the Saudi Traffic Directorate, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Al-Bassami said the directorate has developed a device to identify and verify driving licenses through a fingerprinting system.

He acknowledged there is great awareness among women in dealing with traffic rules and regulations, adding there are no traffic exemptions for women, only for people with special needs.

The move is part of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s plan to modernize and reform Saudi Arabia.