By SOMAN BABY Published: 18th October 2007

LABOUR rules in Bahrain and India will be the focus of talks by Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi, who arrives in Bahrain today.

Bilateral labour relations as well as the impact of the ongoing amnesty on the Indian workforce here will also come under the spotlight during his three-day visit.

Mr Ravi will also brief the Indian community in Bahrain about the preparations for the forthcoming global conference of overseas Indians, the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD 2008), scheduled to be held in New Delhi on January 8 and 9.

The minister's visit is extremely important at a time when both India and Bahrain are changing their labour rules, said Indian Ambassador Balkrishna Shetty.

"Indians form by far the largest expatriate community in Bahrain, and the rules being changed will prove beneficial to them," he told the GEN.

"India is also in the process of changing its immigration rules, and Bahrain's labour market is undergoing major reforms.

"The minister's talks in Bahrain will help in the co-ordination of policies for the benefit of both countries."

Mr Ravi will hold talks today with Labour Minister and Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) chairman Dr Majeed Al Alawi.

He will also meet Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Labour Fund chairman Dr Nizar Al Baharna.

Mr Ravi will be briefed about Bahrain's labour market situation at a luncheon meeting being hosted today by LMRA chief executive Ali Radhi .

Mr Radhi will brief the minister on the impact of the new labour rules, which will come into effect in Bahrain on January 1, following the end of the five-month amnesty.

Mr Shetty will host a reception in honour of the visiting minister this evening at his Saar residence.

Inauguration

Mr Ravi, who is one of the top leaders of India's ruling Congress party, will inaugurate a meeting marking the diamond jubilee of Indian independence tomorrow.

The meeting at the Bahrain Keraleeya Samajam auditorium is being organised by the Indian Overseas Cultural Congress (IOCC).

Mr Shetty and several community leaders will speak at the meeting, which will be chaired by IOCC president Samuel Kizhakkupuram.

The embassy and the Co-ordination Committee of Indian Associations (CCIA) will host a luncheon reception in honour of Mr Ravi at the Ramada Palace Hotel tomorrow.

For more details, contact CCIA chairman Dr PV Cheriyan on 39424477, treasurer TT John on 39885418 or secretary-general Ulhas Karnavar on 39861266.

He will address the Indian community at a public meeting, scheduled to be held at The Indian School, Isa Town, at 7pm tomorrow.

"At this meeting, the minister will talk about Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 2008 conference," said Mr Shetty.

"He will stress on the importance of this conference and urge maximum members of the Indian community in Bahrain to attend.

"Mr Ravi will also brief the community about the measures taken by the Indian government to protect the interest of Indian workers in the Gulf.

"These include the proposed amendment to the Indian Emigration Act to eliminate the exploitation of job-seekers by recruiting agencies in India." The public meeting will be followed by a dinner in honour of the minister by the NRI (non-resident Indians) investors at the Sheraton Hotel.

? Gulf Daily News