Indian mission in Bahrain on Monday enforced new regulations to protect Indian workers, including a minimum wage of BD100 ($ 265) a month for housemaids.

The regulations will initially be applicable to all Indian housemaids in Bahrain, but will be expanded to other sections of workers in due course, an Indian embassy official was quoted as saying.

"We have received an official communication from the Indian government which says no housemaid will be allowed to work for wages less than BD100 ($ 265)," the official said.

Indian Ambassador to Bahrain Balkrishna Shetty had earlier said that all Indians recruited for jobs in the Gulf and their employers will have to sign contracts attested by the respective missions.

Shetty said the rules had been deliberated during a two-day conference of envoys, held in New Delhi. The meeting was presided over by Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi.

The model contract would specify basic monthly salary, hours of work, overtime pay, salary payment by cheque, termination of contract, including clause on termination by employee and employer, and free transportation and medical check-up for the worker, Shetty was quoted as saying by the Gulf Daily News.

It will then have to be attested by the Indian missions in the respective countries, he added. Print.aspx?Id=884677fd-95ec-4dd2-b4c0-52aeae371437 © Copyright 2007 Hindustan Times