New Delhi, March 15: The Opposition on Monday praised the government’s efforts to bring back people who were stranded in the Gulf and other countries during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Congress leader Anand Sharma said, “All the officials of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the Indian missions abroad should be complimented for the work they have done during the pandemic.”
Sharma also requested the government to take up the issue of the students who have lost an year due to the pandemic.
In reply, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said, “Our main focus was to bring the stranded Indians back. Once the recovery picks up pace, we will try to arrange for their return.”
Earlier in the day, Jaishankar told the Parliament that more than 45 lakh people from various countries have been brought back during the lockdown, which highlights the success of the diplomacy of the current government.
Noting that seafarers are a category that requires special attention, the minister said that crew change rules pose a challenge but even the issue with the crew at the Chinese ports have been successfully resolved.
Jaishankar was speaking on the recent developments pertaining to the welfare of Indians starnded abroad during the pandemic.
In the process, the minister said, the government spent Rs 33.5 crore from the Indian Community Welfare Fund.
“This repatriation process would not have been possible without partner governments. This highlights the success of diplomacy of the current government,” Jaishankar said.
He added that India has confirmed agreements for air bubbles with 27 nations so far.
Jaishankar also mentioned how under the Prime Minister’s directions, India pushed its effort to provide food items and medicines to the people in the Gulf region.