By Usha Wagle Gautam, DOHA: Qatar has urged Nepal to ease emigration procedures to make recruitment from the Himalayan country hassle-free.
The message was conveyed by Qatari authorities to a six-member official delegation from Nepal, which was here to study the conditions of its workers and their opportunities.
Local officials praised the honesty and hardworking nature of Nepali workers, the delegation members said.
Nepal’s director of the Foreign Employment Promotion Board (FEPB), Tika Bhandari, undersecretary in the ministry of foreign affairs, Ananda Prasad Sharma, personal secretary to the state minister for labour and employment, Rabindra Acharya, section officer at the ministry of labour and employment, Kirti Ballav Poudel, FEPB assistant director, Govinda Prasad Pandey, and FEPB accounts officer, Sushil Kumar Dhakal, were members of the team that visited Qatar.
The delegation held talks with the chairman of the Permanent Recruitment Committee at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Ibrahim Abdullah al-Dehaimi, and representatives of several Nepalese forums.
Bhandari said his team met with al-Dehaimi and other ministry officials, and held discussions with a special focus on labour issues.
At the meeting, al-Dehaimi praised the contribution of the Nepalis in building the infrastructure of Qatar and assured the delegation of protection and security accorded to expatriates. Qatari officials said it would be helpful if the pre-departure formalities for workers are simplified by the Nepalese authorities.
While thanking Qatar for providing employment opportunities to Nepal nationals, the team also requested local officials to provide assistance for Nepal’s economic development. The local authorities expressed their interest in investing in areas such as hydropower in Nepal.
The meeting also agreed to discuss issues such as providing training to the Nepalese before their arrival to take up employment here.
Bhandari told this newspaper that Qatar needed approximately 112,000 skilled Nepalese workers in the next two years for construction activities in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Al-Dehaimi, according to Bhandari, expressed dissatisfaction at the Nepalese workers being forced to pay a huge amount to recruitment agents for coming to Qatar even though they were provided free visas and free air tickets.
Qatar is one of the foremost overseas destinations for Nepali workers, who, according to a recent report numbered around 400,000.
HE the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Dr Abdullah Saleh Mubarak al-Khulaifi also received a written invitation from Nepal’s Minister for Labour and Employment, Tek Bahadur Gurung, to visit the Himalayan country.
The message was delivered by Ganesh Prasad Dhakal, charge d’affaires at the Nepal embassy, when he met HE Dr al-Khulaifi in January.
The team made an appeal to its expatriates to replace their existing handwritten passports with machine-readable passports. “The issue of staff shortage at Nepal embassy will get over soon as the government has promised to send three new officials to be posted here shortly,” said one of the team members.
The delegation also held talks with community representatives.
:: Team members with Ibrahim Abdullah al-Dehaimi and other Qatari officials.
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