With the recent issues on employees not being paid for two months in Qatar, the Prime Minister raised concerns on the matter during meet-the- press session held yesterday.
Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay said that those Bhutanese workers were not sent to Qatar by the government. However, he said that it is the responsibility of the government to provide whatever support it can to alleviate the situation.
In the Qatar case, he said, “We are trying to help the Bhutanese workers who are working overseas. Now that is it, we have to appeal to all the Bhutanese seeking employment outside, please be careful and do your research and keep your expectation as realistic as possible.”
He said that jobseekers must cross check with those who know or the people who are already working in those countries to ensure their safety. Lyonchhen also encouraged the jobseekers to meet the officials in the labour ministry, and in particular, the minister, if they have any questions or concerns.
Lyonchhen also said overseas employment agencies must be honest and provide the services and information upfront. “As long as you work within the framework of the law, and in the interest of the people, we will continue to support you, but if you transgress and if you cheat our citizens then it becomes government’s responsibility to move into the task,” he added.
Labour Minister, Ngeema Sangay Tshempo, said that the ministry is sending an official, accompanied by another official from Royal Bhutanese Embassy in Kuwait, to study the case. The 53 jobseekers were sent by two private agencies to work in one of the supermarkets in Qatar.
The ministry had started contacting the workers in Qatar, however, it was later found out that the issue was not as bad as it was portrayed to be.
Lyonpo said, “I don’t see this as a serious case because there are 53 living in the same place and have been working for the last fourteen months. Only thing is that they didn’t get paid for the last two months.”
He also said that the ministry is confident that any outstanding issue in the case will be settled amicably.