India and Qatar discuss issues relating to protection of labour rights

New Delhi, May 6 (PTI) Qatar has reaffirmed its commitment to the protection and promotion of rights of the Indian workforce in the country during talks with India on issues relating to manpower and mobility of migrant workers.

The issues figured at the seventh joint working group meeting between India and Qatar on labour and manpower development that took place on May 4 to 5 in New Delhi.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said both sides held fruitful and productive discussions on a wide range of issues related to labour and manpower mobility.

Over 700,000 Indian nationals are residing in Qatar and they comprise the largest expatriate community in Qatar. The Indians are engaged in a wide spectrum of professions including medicine, engineering, education and finance among others.

“The Indian side welcomed the progressive labour reform measures adopted by Qatar over the past years,” the MEA said in a statement.

It said the Qatari side appreciated the contribution of the Indian migrant workforce in the socio-economic development and infrastructure building in that country.

“The Qatari side reiterated their commitment towards the protection and promotion of labour rights,” the MEA said.

“Both sides agreed to adopt an integrated approach to promote the welfare and well-being of workers, including streamlining recruitment and enhancing cooperation for time-bound resolution of issues of mutual concern. In this context both agreed to work towards integrating the recruitment portals,” it said.

The Qatari delegation also visited the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in Delhi.

“Both sides had useful exchanges of views on furthering co-operation in skills training and certification. The visiting delegation also held discussions with the representatives of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA),” the MEA said.

The Indian delegation at the talks was led by Anurag Bhushan, Joint Secretary (Overseas Indian Affairs-I) in the MEA.

The Qatari team was headed by Mohammed Hassan Al Obaidly, Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs.