Editorial: On the job

Comments by a top official that more and more Indian workers are returning home as Singapore businesses cut down on workforce following the severe impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic is a cause of concern.

According to Indian High Commissioner P Kumaran, “On an average, about 100 Indian nationals in Singapore continue to register daily with the High Commission here for flights back home, with over 11,000 having registered so far.”

He further said that special flights have been arranged as part of the ongoing Vande Bharat Mission and, wherever necessary, more flights are added to help meet the high demand for some destinations to help Indian nationals return home as they have lost their jobs, or going back for medical treatment or family-distress situation,

The Indian High Commissioner said the high commission would continue to work to ensure enough repatriation flights, even though formal flights between Singapore and India have not resumed. The high commission has repatriated over 17,000 Indian nationals by arranging 120 special flights since May, said Kumaran.

On a positive note, he said discussions are ongoing with the Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) to explore opportunities for a manufacturing partnership.

“India offers industrial sites in planned economic zones to promote manufacturing,” he said, stressing that country had “a very cost competitive” manufacturing ecosystem, especially its low labour cost.

Singapore is one of the leading countries that provide jobs to many Indians. Governments of both countries should work out a solution to safeguard the interests of workers.

 

NT Bureau