Indian nationals constitute the single largest expatriate community in Qatar

India and Qatar on Friday agreed to adopt an integrated approach to promote the welfare and well-being of workers.

The issue was discussed at the 7th Joint Working Group (JWG) Meeting between India and Qatar on Labour and Manpower Development held in New Delhi on Thursday and Friday.

There are over 700,000 Indian nationals in Qatar and they constitute the single largest expatriate community in the country. They are engaged in a wide spectrum of professions; there are a large number of blue-collar workers as well.

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

The Indian side welcomed the progressive labour reform measures adopted by Qatar over the past years.

The Qatari side appreciated the contribution of the Indian migrant workforce in the socio-economic development and infrastructure building in the State of Qatar, the MEA said. The Qatari side also reiterated their commitment towards the protection and promotion of labour rights.

"Both sides agreed to adopt integrated approach to promote the welfare and well-being of workers, including streamlining recruitment and to enhance co-operation for time-bound resolution of issues of mutual concern. In this context both agreed to work towards integrating the recruitment portals," the MEA said.

The Indian delegation was led by Joint Secretary (OIA-I), Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Bhushan and the Qatari delegation was led by Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs, Ministry of Labour Mohammed Hassan Al Obaidly,

The Qatari delegation called on Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan and Secretary (CPV&OIA) Ausaf Sayeed.

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

It was agreed to hold the next round of Joint Working Group meeting in Qatar at mutually convenient dates.