Bahrain to hold fest to promote amnesty scheme


Dubai : The Bahraini Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) will soon organise a festival to promote awareness and encourage illegal immigrants, including Indians, to avail the amnesty scheme.

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The event will be held at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre Oct 17-25, Ali Radhi, chief executive of LMRA, Ali Radhi said Monday.

In a bid to curb the blatant violation of labour norms, the Bahrain government had announced a general amnesty scheme for illegal foreign workers last month. It asked all illegal immigrant workers and their employers to regularise their work permits or face heavy penalties.

The scheme is similar to the one launched by the UAE government, which ended earlier this month.

“The festival will be held in co-ordination with other ministries and foreign embassies in the kingdom,” Ali Radhi was quoted as saying by the Gulf Daily News.

“Cultural programmes will be staged, with specific days for each community,” said Radhi. “This is to attract the maximum number of workers to the venue, where they will be briefed on the amnesty,” he added.

“We shall advise all illegal residents either to leave the country without paying penalties or to legalise their stay in the kingdom.”

The LMRA, plans to complete the enrolment of all expatriates in Bahrain before the year-end.

“There will be 20 counters at the festival venue, where people’s data will be collected and fingerprints taken. It will then be sent to the Central Informatics Organisation (CIO) to process the people’s smart cards,” Radhi said.

Last month, the Indian mission in Bahrain had blacklisted around 45 local firms for violating the country’s labour laws and denying Indian workers their basic rights. The companies will not be able to recruit any more workers from India.

According to 2001 data, there are approximately 130,000 Indians in Bahrain.