Nepali migrants safe in Qatar: Study team

  • MoLE officials say situation in Qatar is normal, no threat to jobs

Kathmandu, July 13

The government team, which had gone to Qatar to learn about the condition of Nepali migrants working there, has said that the Nepali workers are safe in the destination and there is no threat of them losing their jobs.

The government had sent a team to Qatar to take stock of the situation facing Nepali migrant workers there due to the diplomatic rift between Qatar and Saudi Arabia-led alliance. There were fears in Nepal that the economic blockade put in place by the Saudi Arabia-led alliance against Qatar would hurt Nepali labourers working in the construction sector as Qatar gets ready to host the FIFA Football World Cup in 2022.

According to Tej Raj Pandaya, joint secretary at the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE), and who was the coordinator of the government team, migrant workers are only facing a problem of inflation in the local market. “We did not receive any complaints from them in terms of their work situation,” he said.

There are around 100,000 Nepali workers employed in the construction sector out of a total of 450,000 labourers who have gone to Qatar, according to him. “There is no need to worry about the situation in Qatar and it is not as bad as we had thought it would be,” Pandaya said.

He also stated that the supply of raw materials that are necessary for construction works is normal in Qatar. “Qatar has been importing goods through the sea and it is only facing problems with the air routes as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt have closed their air space for flights to and from Qatar. Construction activities in stadiums and other sectors are normal,” said Pandaya.

The government has requested the labour department of Qatar to provide actual number of Nepali workers, who are employed in capital Doha and other cities of the country.

“The labour department of Qatar has said that it will provide us the data of Nepali workers who are based in Doha and other cities,” he informed. “We need to have data on the actual number of Nepali workers and their work stations too so that we can aptly respond if there is any danger to the workers,” Pandaya added.

The study team, which returned home after a week-long visit to Qatar on Wednesday, has said that it will submit the full study report to the labour and employment minister and other high-level government officials after a few days.