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Nepal raises labour issues with Qatar

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 12, 2017- Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat, who is currently in Qatar on an official visit, has raised the issue of safety and benefits of Nepali migrants working in the Gulf emirate.

“Mahat raised the issue and plight of more than 350,000 Nepali migrant workers during his meetings with the Emir, foreign and Labour ministers of Qatar,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

During the meetings, Mahat suggested the Qatari government build temporary shelters for workers facing problem at their work place, according to the statement, adding that he had urged the Qatar government to set up a mechanism at the Labour Ministry to settle the disputes of Nepali migrant workers who are not paid 
on time.

Migrant workers in Qatar have to endure a long procedure at court and other legal complexities if they are denied salary by their employers. “Such a mechanism would facilitate the employees in getting early resolution to payment disputes,” the statement said Mahat told the top Qatari officials. They took up the suggestions positively and assured all possible assistance. 

While welcoming the recent change in the Qatari labour law, Minister Mahat requested Qatar to set up a poly technical institute in Nepal to produce trained and skilled manpower, according to the Foreign Ministry. He also called on the Qatari authorities to increase quota for Nepali workers.

During the meetings, Mahat also stressed the need for the two countries to take their relations beyond the labour issues. 

The two sides agreed on bringing Qatari investments into Nepal in areas like hospitality sector, hydropower and telecom. Nepal has also reached another agreement that will see a Qatar inventory team in Nepal ahead of Investment Summit scheduled for March. The Qatari team will explore areas where Qatar can invest in Nepal. 

He extended an invitation to Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to visit Nepal. During the meeting, the Emir praised the Nepali workers as very laborious and honest. 

Mahat and his Qatari counterpart Seikh Mohammed bin Abdulraman agreed to speed up high-level visits and contacts between the two countries in future. 

During his meeting with Qatari Labour Minister Issa bin Saad al-Jafali, Mahat raised the issue of safety and benefits of Nepalis working in Qatar, calling for a 24-hour insurance facility to Nepali workers, review of the bilateral labour agreement signed in 2005 and constituting a separate mechanism to address grievances of the workers.

He also requested al-Jafali to increase the quota for Nepali migrant workers in Qatar.

 

Published: 12-01-2017 08:56

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