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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 26 February 2021

Indian consul general urges workers in Dubai to start saving for retirement

Dr Aman Puri spoke to workers at a labour camp in Dubai Investment Park on Friday

The Indian consul general urged workers in Dubai to keep aside small amounts of money each month and start saving for retirement.

Dr Aman Puri, the Indian official, was addressing workers on Friday at a labour camp of Larsen & Toubro, an Indian engineering and construction, where he explained the importance of small savings.

Dr Puri met the workers at their company accommodation in Dubai Investment Park and thanked them for continuing to work during the pandemic.

“You send most of your salary to your families back home and that’s how they survive, but you must also think about your future,” he said.

“There will come a time when you will have to leave and you must have savings to survive then.”

The Indian diplomat said there are 3.3 million Indians in the UAE and a majority of them are blue-collar workers.

“Indians in the UAE remit huge amounts of money. This is very important to support the Indian economy. Indians living here also strengthen ties between the two countries,” he said.

Residents in the Emirates remitted $21.6 billion (Dh79.6 billion) in the first half of 2020 with India the top receiving country, according to the UAE Central Bank.

Remittances in the first half of last year were 48.2 per cent of the total amount sent in 2019, which was Dh165 billion.

Dr Puri said it was important to be financially literate and save a part of one's monthly earnings.

India encourages its non-resident citizens to invest in the National Pension Scheme, a government-sponsored programme, for old-age income security.

The investments can be routed through normal banking channels with a minimum annual contribution of Rs6,000 (Dh300/$81).

Rajesh Kumar, country head of L&T, said 2020 was a difficult year for workers.

“March and April were trying when work stopped. Some workers had to be hospitalised due to the virus while many had to be relocated. Several people also went back home willingly. It was not easy for us,” he said.

“Then, the UAE market reopened but India was in lockdown in the summer. The workers were extremely concerned about their families back home but they kept working despite all challenges.

“Our business shrank so we had to let people go but we are still a very big family.”

The campaign – Breakfast with Consul General – is being organised by the Consulate General of India in Dubai and Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendra Dubai. It is a welfare initiative of the Indian government to support its citizens.

Indian officials will interact with blue-collar workers over breakfast meetings at a different labour accommodation each month under the new initiative.

Updated: January 1, 2021 02:52 PM

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