December 3: Nepal and Qatar have agreed to revise the Bilateral Labour Agreement. The two sides agreed to revise the 2005 pact during the fourth meeting of the Nepal –Qatar Joint Committee held recently. Qatar has accepted Nepal’s proposal for its support for socio-economic reintegration of the Nepali migrant workers who have returned from Qatar – which is one of the top labour destinations among the Nepali migrant workers. Likewise, the Gulf nation has also agreed to further systematize the Qatar Visa Centre.
Moreover, the Government of Qatar has given its nod to establish a training center at all provinces of Nepal targeting capacity enhancement of workers to be hired from Nepal.
During the meeting, the Nepali side was urged to lift a ban on hiring domestic helpers from Nepal. In response, the meeting agreed to form a bilateral committee and incorporate the issues in course of revising the labor agreement based on the recommendation of the same committee.
The Industry, Commerce, Labour and Consumers Committee of the Parliament has recommended seven conditions for a destination country to hire domestic labourers from Nepal and directed the government to allow the process only if the criteria is fulfilled.
Qatar is learnt to have expressed its readiness to abide by the recruitment criteria recommended by the parliamentary committee.
The meeting discussed about the guarantee of social security of workers, workplace safety, health and insurance policy among other issues.
Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, Binu Bajracharya, led the Nepali side which also included Under Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pushpa Raj Bhattarai, and Under Secretary at the Ministry of Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security Dr Thaneshwor Bhusal.
Secretary Ek Narayan Aryal presented Nepal’s agenda before the team from Qatar during the meeting.
Likewise, Mohammed Hassan Al-Obaidli, Secretary for Labour Affairs, Qatar led the Qatar delegation during the meeting.
The diplomatic relation between Nepal and Qatar was established three decades ago. The two countries had signed the Labour Agreement in 2005 in a bid to make labour migration safe and systematic.