Embassy News

Utilisation of Indian Embassy ICWF fund during the quarter January-March 2014

Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF)

              For the welfare of Indian Community residing in Kuwait, the Indian Embassy has been providing financial assistance to distressed Indian Workers from the Indian Community Welfare Fund. During the period January- March 2014, the Embassy has incurred expenditure of KD 7,302.970 plus US $ 10,000/- for providing assistance to Indian nationals.

2.         The Embassy has been providing the following services in most demanding cases:

i.        Boarding and lodging for distressed Indian Workers in domestic sectors (Article 20 visa);
ii. Extending emergency medical care to the Overseas Indians;
iii.  Providing air passage to stranded and distressed Overseas Indians; and
iv.      Expenditure on incidentals and for airlifting the mortal remains to India of the deceased Overseas Indians in cases where the sponsor is unable or unwilling to do so as per the contract and the family is also unable to meet the cost.

3.     The number of cases during the period January-March 2014 in which Embassy provided air ticket, medical care and contingency travel expenses to the distressed Indian Workers are as under :

                                               (Period January –March 2014)

Description

No. of workers received assistances

Amount (in KD)

Amount (in US$)

Air-tickets provided to destitute workers accommodated in Embassy shelters(male/female)

68

KD 3,395/-

 

No. of Indian nationals provided contingency/ travel expenses

257

KD 1573.870

US $ 10,000/-

Airlifting of hospitalized Indians + Escorts

1 + 2

KD 834/-

 

Airlifting of mortal remains to India

8

KD 1,315/-

 

Basic amenities to female jail inmates

13

KD 65/-

 

Miscellaneous expenses (Photos for Emergency Certificate) etc. 

 

KD 120.100

 

Total

349

KD 7,302.970

US $ 10,000/-

 

New Features of Embassy's Website

New Features of Embassy's Website

          TheEmbassy has added a number of new features on its Website (www.indembkwt.org) in recent months, so as to keep it up-to-date and user friendly for the viewers. Some of the new features that have been added are as under:-

(1)          Facebook and Twitter have been introduced.

(2)          Replies, to the reactions and queries of Indian Community on Facebook and Twitter, are regularly being given by the Embassy.

(3)          Contact telephone numbers of all officers have been given on the Website so that one can reach them on 24/7 basis. 

(4)          Helpline number, useful India and Kuwait links (which are user-friendly) are given on the Home Page.

(5)          Arabic translation of the relevant portion, pertaining to Consular and Visa matters, has been included by giving a link on the Blue Bar. (Language ICON)

(6)          The facility of Mobile application permitting downloading of MEA forms such as  Passport can be done on ANDRIOD or iPHONE applications.

(7)           Quick links and India Tourism links have been given on the Home Page.

(8)          The video link for the National Anthem of both countries has been given on the top right hand corner of the Website.

(9)           Air India, Jet Airways and Kuwait Airways links have been put up at an appropriate place for the benefit of Indian expatriates.

(10)       Embassy’s Auditorium has been hosting events of different Indian Associations regularly from January 2014 and photographs of these events can be seen at the bottom of Home Page.

(11)       Weekly Economic Bulletin, icons of Facebook, Twitter, Flicker and BLS site links are available on the Embassy’s Website. 

(12)       One can easily view official functions by clicking on the video (Arrow mark), which is below the black bar of India Tourism & Quick links.

(13)       Information about NRIs in the Gulf & LIC is given as a link at the bottom of the Home Page, besides the Community Portal of Indians in Kuwait.

            The Embassy invites suggestions for improvements on its Website. The Embassy shall welcome all shades of opinion and it will be its endeavour to accommodate your suggestions. The objective is to make the Embassy’s Website  more user-friendly, helpful and informative to the viewers.

All suggestions in this regard may please be posted on the Embassy’s  Facebook and Twitter or sent by E-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

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Indian Embassy's clarification on Attestation

Indian Embassy's clarification on Attestation 

While welcoming constructive criticism, suggestions, opinions etc. from our community in Kuwait, the Embassy offers clarifications on the two issues given below:

ISSUE 1: Why attestation certificates are only of 6-month validity ?

Response: It is the practice of Kuwait government that the certificate should have been made within 6 months. The Embassy does not ask for renewal of a certificate after 6-month period. However, as per Kuwait government requirement, any certificate older than 6-month period is treated as invalid.

ISSUE 2: High charges in the Embassy for filling-up forms (KD 0.500-2.500) and photocopying (KD 0.050).

Response: The charges are market-driven. It is not mandatory for any applicant to use the services of typing or photocopying of the “Facilitation Centre” in the Embassy. All applicants are welcome to get their job done from outside or inside the Embassy.  

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Indian Embassy announces -Beware of Fake website

Indian Embassy announces -Beware of Fake website
It has come to our notice that a fake website (www.indiavisa.co.in) was in circulation for applying the Indian Visa for online visa seekers. Following points may be noted down:

1.     It is compulsory to fill the visa application online. The proper website address is www.indianvisaonline.gov.inOnce the online application is filled, the printout is taken for submitting to the outsource visa centre at BLS International Sharq and Fahaheel. In case of Special and diplomatic passports, the application has to be submitted to Embassy of India, Kuwait.

2.     There is no provision of online payment of visa fee. So any website asking for visa fee by credit/debit card is fake website. The visa fee is actually deposited as cash in the outsourcing centre at BLS International Sharq and Fahaheel with the copy of online filled application.

3.     Any such instances of fake website should be brought to the immediate notice of the Embassy of India by email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or mobile to Mr. A.K. Srivastava (mob number 97229914).  

Indian Embassy's clarification

There has been some criticism on the Embassy charging KD 0.500 on passport and attestation services towards the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) w.e.f. 27 January 2014. The criticism relates to the intentions behind charging this fee, its accounting procedure, the manner of its collection and the criteria for its utilization. In this regard, the Embassy of India would like to clarify that these concerns are unfounded. While the Embassy welcomes constructive criticism from our community, the following clarifications are given on the subject for the benefit of all. 

 

(i)      Background

There is a large expatriate Indian community in the Gulf region, majority of them belonging to the low income group, i.e., domestic workers and unskilled labour. There are often circumstances when our low income group Indians come under tremendous distress and are not able to meet their expenses or their sponsors refuse to pay these expenses. There was genuine need for the urgent Government of India intervention in these cases out of humanitarian considerations. The expatriate Indian community had in fact demanded setting up of a welfare fund to help such group of people.

 

(ii)     Objectives

To help destitute Indians abroad under distress through the ICWF by providing financial assistance to such individuals in cases like airlifting the mortal remains, airlifting critical medical cases, initial legal assistance, and providing financial assistance to stranded Indians in Kuwait.

 

Government of India established fund

a)       The Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) has been approved by the Government of India (GOI) and was established as per the orders of Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA), India w.e.f. 01 December 2008 for meeting the expenses like lifting of mortal remains, airlifting to India in extreme medical transfer, initial legal assistance, etc to the distressed and destitute Indians specially those in domestic and unskilled sectors. The details are available under emigration services on MOIA website.

 

b)       The MOIA, based on strength of Indian expatriate community, started the ICWF in all Indian Embassies in the Gulf region with an initial grant Rs 15 lakhs each.  After three years, this fund was to be self-sustained by the Mission by collecting a nominal fee towards ICWF on various types of consular, labour, and attestation services provided by the Mission.

 

c)       The rates for this nominal fee was also fixed by the GOI i.e. Rs. 100/- per document, which comes out to be KD 0.500 (rounded off to nearest hundred Kuwaiti fills.)

 

d)       The GOI guidelines do not provide any category of individuals who can be exempted from this nominal fee. Hence, it is charged across the board.

 

(iii)    Accounts

1.       There is a proper bank account for handling the ICWF in the Embassy. The daily collection is deposited in the concerned bank account on next working day. Being the Government of India fund, it is properly audited and annual reports are sent to concern Ministries.

 

2.       There is proper arrangement in the software which provides for the amount collected under this head and it is mentioned in the receipt. The same is given to the applicant while accepting any service in consular and labour section.

 

(iv)    Expenditure

1.       The amount collected under ICWF is meant for helping the low income group expatriate Indian community who are under distress. Almost a decade now the Embassy has been helping destitute Indians. In the year 2013, Embassy incurred an expenditure of KD 35,899/- under following mentioned details:

 

Description

Number

Amount in KD

Air ticket to Destitute workers

218

14,205

·        Incidental money (for shelter inmates)

·        Incidental money (some deportation inmates)

576

319

11,416

  5,600

·        Airlifting hospitalized Indian to India

·        Escort Duty (for above patients)

6

4

  1,292

(Total)

Airlifting mortal remains to India

24

 2,917

Basic amenities to female jail inmates

27

     62

Miscellaneous Expenses

 

   407

Grand Total

 

35,899

 

 

(v)     Contribution

It was envisaged that Indian community in Kuwait would contribute voluntarily to augment the fund which is helping low income group Indians. But there has been no voluntary contribution so far from individuals or community/social organization while expectation from the ICWF has increased. The expenditure is increasing with each passing year and it is likely to be KD 50,000/- for the current year 2014.

 

(vi)    Conclusion

There is a need for sustaining the ICWF funds so that all distressed destitute Indians could be helped. Hence, as per the GOI guidelines, the nominal fee of KD 0.500 is charged on all consular & labour services.

 

 
 
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