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Qatar’s migrant fund expected to support Nepali workers

- CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL, Kathmandu

Nov 4, 2017-The latest initiative by the Qatar government for the protection of its foreign labour force is expected to benefit Nepali migrant workers as well. Qatar recently endorsed a bill, which envisages protecting rights of more than two million of its foreign workers.

Nepal has welcomed the move of Qatar, which hosts more than 400,00 Nepali migrant workers.  

“This is a significant gesture by the Qatari government. It will benefit thousands of Nepali workers,” said Bhuwan Prasad Acharya, spokesperson at the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE). 

The bill proposes setting up a separate independent fund dedicated for migrant workers and providing financial assistance to the workers in need.  

Qatar’s Labour Minister Issa al-Nuaimi had told Al Jazeera recently that the fund would ensure that overdue wages are paid to the migrant workers. 

The proposed “Workers’ Support and Insurance Fund” would operate independently while receiving maximum support from the government. 

Ill-treatment of foreign workers, which accounts for more than 90 per cent of its total population of 2.5 million, has led to widespread criticism for the gas-rich nation.

The new measures under the bill are being seen as major steps towards addressing the concerns of migrant workers in Qatar, gearing up to host the FIFA World Cup 2022.

After passing of the bill the Qatar News Agency reported that the fund aims to provide sustainable financial resources for the support and insurance of workers and pay the workers’ dues ordered by dispute resolution committees before collecting the expenses from the employer. 

Other measures incorporated in the bill include better insurance and minimum wages for foreign workers. 

The Nepali side hopes while implementing the provisions Qatar will treat workers, including Nepalis, equally. 

“We are yet to follow the details mentioned in the bill. However, we hope that Qatar will not discriminate while fixing minimum salary for the migrant workers,” Acharya said.

 Qatar is one of the most popular job destinations for aspirant Nepali migrant workers. In 2016-17 fiscal year, a record 125,892 Nepali workers entered Qatar.

Published: 04-11-2017 08:08

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