An Indian labourer looks at the construction site of a building in Riyadh November 16, 2014. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser
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India is pressing rich countries in the Gulf to raise the wages of millions of Indians working there, in a drive that could secure it billions of dollars in fresh income but risks pricing some of its citizens out of the market.So India's campaign for much higher pay could have an impact on economies around the region, especially if it leads to a general increase in wages for workers from other big labor-supplying countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh.Over the past seven months, Indian diplomats in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have sharply increased the minimum salaries that they recommend for Indian workers at private and public firms in those states. The Indian government cannot dictate the pay of its citizens in the Gulf – decisions to hire workers are made by labor recruiters in individual countries, which have not set minimum wages for migrants and usually prohibit union activity by them.Another MOIA official said India's pay demands had met initial resistance in all six GCC countries, while two of the countries had threatened to reduce their Indian workforces and hire more, lower-paid workers from Bangladesh and Nepal instead.
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