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New population policy seeks a balanced demographic growth.

Walid Slaiby

Doha

The new population policy in Qatar aims to minimise the demographic imbalance in the country by encouraging the growth of Qatari population and reducing the recruitment of foreign workers.

The Permanent Population Committee (PPC) on Tuesday launched the population policy for 2017-22, which also seeks to control the high rate of overall population growth in the country.

The new policy was launched at the PPC's celebration of Qatar Population Day under the theme 'Towards Effective Implementation of Qatar's Population Policy 2017-2022'. The event was attended by a number of ministers and officials.

The new policy also aims to develop urban centres outside Doha to make them more attractive to citizens and expatriates.

As part of the first goal of the policy, various measures will be implemented to promote the growth of Qatari population. These include issuing a legislation to endorse a marriage fund for citizens, including awareness of bringing down dowry and marriage expenses in the educational curriculum, increasing the number of low-cost wedding halls in the country and establishing criteria for granting Qatari citizenship to permanent expatriates and those with experience in rare specialities.

In order to reduce the recruitment of foreign workers, retention of the existing labour force and their reemployment in new projects (labour force turnover) will be promoted. When companies recruit workers for new projects, existing workers should be given priority.

Government will ensure that companies and enterprises comply with the recruitment rules in terms of number and quality of foreign workers.

The policy also aims to facilitate recruitment of family members of residents, and to grant recruitment permits to families of expatriates. Private sector companies will be given incentives for replacing expatriates with citizens.

The policy also aims to create recruitment agencies in countries sending workers to Qatar to verify qualification and experience of workers.

According to the policy, various measures will be implemented to eliminate surplus labourers in the country, including conducting studies on illegal and domestic workers. The maximum number of expat workers to be allowed in a household will be fixed and additional fees will be imposed if the limit is exceeded. Visa trafficking by shell companies will be prevented.

The policy also aims to create a national insurance fund for expatriates, so that they can also contribute to the fund in addition to employers' contribution. The deposit amount will be handed over to the worker when his work contract expires.

Another goal of the policy is to achieve a balanced distribution of workers in terms of nationalities and professions, and reduce the concentration of certain nationalities in some professions.

A study will be conducted to assess the distribution of nationalities in various professions, and the study result will be taken into account when approving recruitment for certain professions. Arab citizens will be given priority in recruitments and companies will be directed to diversify sources of labour force.

Apart from making the existing urban centers outside Doha more attractive, new urban centres will also be planned outside the capital city.

Infrastructure at such centres will be improved and more government services, health facilities, cultural and sports clubs, shopping centres and libraries will be provided.

Establishment of new schools, including foreign schools, will be promoted outside Doha by encouraging citizens to invest in remote areas. Branches of universities and educational and training institutes will be opened in such areas to attract more citizens and expats.

The policy also envisages enacting a legislation to pay 'location allowance' for citizens residing outside Doha. Measures will be taken to solve the housing problem of citizens and expatriates, especially those with low-income. For this, more labour cities will be constructed with ensuring proper living conditions

A legislation will be enacted to standardise the housing systems among the three sectors -- public, private and mixed -- and regulate rents.

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:Nov 1, 2017
Words:646
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