Pitch for uniform labour deal with host countries

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Minister says G2G deal with all migrant receiving countries would serve the interests of workers as well as of Nepal

Jan 10, 2017-The government is making a pitch for an umbrella labour agreement with labour destination countries at the government-to-government level to streamline labour diplomacy.

“We need to have a comprehensive review of the labour agreements signed with migrant destinations and replace them with an umbrella pact. That will enable us to deal uniformly with all the issues concerning foreign employment,” Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat said on Monday, ahead of a three-day official visit to Qatar. Labour issues are expected to dominate talks during his meetings with top Qatari authorities. 

He said that government-to-government pacts with all labour receiving nations would serve Nepal’s interests and those of workers. The government has signed labour agreements with many countries but with different templates. 

“My best effort would be to prepare an umbrella template based on government-to-government deal. I am trying to get the Labour Ministry on board in this respect,” Mahat said, pointing out “Some important matters related to the welfare of the Nepali migrant workers are not incorporated in the previous agreements.”

During his stay in the Gulf emirate, Mahat will meet with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and his counterpart Mohammad bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani. There is a huge demand for foreign workers in Qatar to complete major infrastructure projects, including stadiums, in time for the football World Cup that it is hosting 2022. Close to half-a-million Nepali workers are based in Qatar.

“As well as holding talks with the Qatari authorities on the welfare of the migrant Nepalis currently working there, I will look into prospects of sending skilled manpower from Nepal,” said Mahat,  who meets his counterpart on Wednesday. The Qatari foreign minister is hosting a luncheon in honour of the Nepali delegation. 

Mahat will pay a courtesy call on the Qatari Emir and hold a meeting with the Qatari minister of labour. He is also scheduled to have an interaction with Nepali nationals in Doha. Mahat will be accompanied on the visit by Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi, a joint secretary at the Ministry of Labour and Employment and other Foreign Ministry officials. Minister Mahat will leave Doha for the United States on Thursday to attend the 5th Annual General Meeting of NRNA NCC as the chief guest.

Published: 10-01-2017 07:25

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