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Monday, May 10, 2021

Nepal FM urges Qatar to ensure ‘safety and wellbeing’ of his people

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Nepal’s Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat meets Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim

Qatar should build temporary shelters for Nepalis who are having work problems and set up a better mechanism for these expats to complain when they aren’t paid by employers.

That’s the advice a senior delegation of Nepali officials gave Qataris during a visit to Doha last week, according to Ekantipur.

Some 350,000 Nepalis work in Qatar, mostly in blue-collar positions. They comprise the country’s second-largest demographic group, after Indians.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

During his visit to Doha last week, Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat met with the Emir as well as his Qatari counterpart.

He also spoke with the labor minister, discussing with all three the “safety and wellbeing of Nepali migrant workers,” according to Nepal’s embassy in Doha.

Solutions

According to Nepali officials, chief complaints among workers include not being paid on time.

Qatar has been working to address this issue with the rollout of the wage protection system, which mandates that employers pay out salaries via direct bank transfer.

But many construction companies have been struggling with this system.

More than a dozen men wait to use the ATMs at City Center Mall.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Mahat also raised the issue of grievances, pointing out that the current process of lodging a complaint against one’s employer is too long and convoluted.

This however is also being addressed.

A few months ago, Qatar’s Cabinet approved the idea of setting up a labor resolution committee that addresses worker disputes within three weeks.

It is unclear when these will actually be set up, however.

New shelters

In the meantime, Mahat urged Qatar to construct shelters for Nepalis seeking refuge from abusive employers.

He also suggested that officials set up an institute in Nepal to produce trained and skilled manpower, and increase the quota for such workers.

For its part, QNA said Mahat and officials discussed “bilateral relations and ways of promoting them.”

But according to Ekantipur, Qatari officials were receptive of the suggestions and “assured all possible assistance.”

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