NEWS FROM THE UAE
Excerpts from UAE Dailies
Indian worker commits suicide
DUBAI — Feb. 08: An Indian youth who had returned to the emirate from India only a few days ago, following an emergency leave, hanged himself in his room at a labour camp in Al Quoz.
Problems in his marital life are said to be the reason behind the suicide.
Sajikumar, 29, from Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala in India was found dead on Monday evening in his room. He was working as a clerk with Al Nabooda Engineering Company.
His colleagues said a suicide note left by him was handed over to the police.
“In his suicide note, he has mentioned certain problems in his marital life and expressed apologies to his wife,” said a colleague of the deceased.
According to an official of his company, Sajikumar had got married in India six months ago. He joined duty soon after, and had gone to visit home on an emergency leave just three weeks back.
His colleagues said though he did not look normal on the fateful day, they could not anticipate the seriousness of the situation.
“He used to appear dull and sad after returning from India last Thursday evening,” the colleague said.
“When we enquired about him, he told us he was not feeling well. Though he had joined duty on Saturday, he took a sick leave on Sunday and remained confined to his room,” the colleague pointed out.
“He was an energetic and hard-working individual. He had joined the company as an office boy and was promoted to a clerk. He had also got both light and heavy driving licences,” said one of his superiors in the company.
“Sajikumar’s body is being kept in the police mortuary and will be sent home on Thursday. Necessary arrangements have been made for the same,” said a company official.
Dubai police sources said investigation into the case was in progress.
Sajikumar, who does not have any close relatives in the UAE, is survived by his widow, father, mother, and two brothers.
ISD ‘joy ride’ turns sour for Indian expatriates
DUBAI — Feb. 08: At first, they thought it was a pleasant surprise for them. Later, they ended up repenting why they didn’t confirm it.
On Monday last, some Indian expatriates living in Dubai and Northern Emirates found they were being charged Dh1 per minute for calls made to India, even though Etisalat’s off-peak rate is Dh1.89.
Soon, the word spread.
Most of the pre-paid customers who availed themselves of this ‘opportunity’, said they mistook it for a special offer from Etisalat.
“I dialled a particular number along with the destination number, after which my phone rang. As I attended the phone, the call got connected to the destination number in India. When I checked the balance, I found the call was charged at Dh1 per minute only,” said an Indian working in Dubai.
“I came to know of it through an SMS sent by a friend,” he revealed.
An Indian working in Ras Al Khaimah confirmed he too had availed himself of the Dh1 per minute opportunity.
But not all were lucky. Said a sales executive based in Sharjah: “Two of my friends started calling their relatives in India from my mobile, but it didn’t work. We thought it was a special offer from Etisalat. But we soon realised it was an unauthorized affair.”
20pc pay hike for Dubai govt employees
DUBAI — Feb. 08: His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, has issued in his capacity as Ruler of Dubai a decree, ordering a 20 per cent rise in the basic salaries of all UAE national and foreign employees working in the emirate’s local government departments.
The employees will start receiving the pay increase, retroactively from January 1, 2007.
The decree provides for adding the salary increase to the total pay of employees after being regraded according to the new pay scale attached to the human resources law.
However, the increase shall not affect calculation of allowances that are based on the basic salary.
Dubai - Fake CID officer locked up
Dubai - Feb. 08: A Syrian man who posed as a CID officer and then allegedly raped a Filipino man in Dubai has been jailed for six months. The Court of Appeal upheld the sentencing passed down at the Court of First Instance hearing on the 26-year-old and ordered his deportation following his serving of the prison term.
He was also ordered to pay dhs2,000 for drinking alcohol.
The court decided on hearing all the evidence that there was not sufficient proof the defendant had actually carried out the alleged rape. However he was sentenced for impersonating a CID officer by dressing in a uniform and for drinking alcohol.
Employers warned against giving fake salary slips to insurance firms
ABU DHABI — Feb. 08: Employers who provide fake salary certificates of their employees to health insurance firms to buy them lowest health insurance premiums will face legal action, a top official has warned.
Buying mandatory health premiums for expatriate employees working and residing in Abu Dhabi depends on their monthly emoluments.
“We had 20 cases where we suspected that the salary certificates were fake. Some employers resort to this unscrupulous act to get the basic policy, which is supported by the government and designed for employees with a total monthly salary package of Dh4000 or less,” said Dr Michael Bitzer, Chief Executive Officer of the National Insurance Company-Daman
He said the cases were referred to the General Authority for Health Services for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (GAHS).
“In some cases, we ask the company to provide us with salary slips for three months to avoid any form of cheating. However, the issue is to be tackled thoroughly by the GAHS for being the regulatory body of the insurance project,” said Dr Britzer.
Under a presidential decree, it has become compulsory for employers to provide their expatriate employees with health insurance cover.
Dr Ahmed Al Mazroui, Director General of GAHS, said, “Employers who will try to deceive authorities by forging salary certificates of their employees to avoid paying more to secure them with a health insurance will be subject to penalties stipulated in the country’s criminal code.”
He stressed that as per the law, employers must provide employees with health premium that will be decided in accordance with the monthly salary of an employee.
The official added that employers are also not allowed to deduct value of the insurance premium from the salary of employee in any case.“We will not tolerate any such acts. Violators will be punished.”