Embassy to seek lawful compensation for victims of tank blast
March 09 2014 11:52 PM

Even as the operators of the restaurant chain which lost seven of its staffers in the February explosion in Duhail announced a compensation of QR30,000 to each victim’s family, the Indian embassy, citing the clauses in the Qatar labour law said yesterday the amount is far from enough to meet the irreparable losses of the families who have lost their sole bread winners.

It is understood that the business group that operated the restaurant, destroyed in explosion, had not insured their workers and hence agreed to give a compensation amounting to Rs500,000 each (approximately QR30,000) to the three Indian workers who lost their lives and Nepali Rs500,000 each (approximately QR19,200) to four Nepalese workers who were killed in the tragic accident.

Soon after the business group announced the compensation to the victims’ families yesterday, deputy head of the Indian embassy P S Sasi Kumar said the mission would proceed ahead with a complaint against the employer at appropriate levels if the group restricted the compensation package to the amounts announced yesterday.

“If the compensation announced was in addition to the compensation for which the families of the deceased were entitled to under the Qatar labour law, I would have appreciated the gesture of the group,” he said while informing that restaurant operators have been summoned to the embassy to explain their position on the issue.

All those died in the tragedy were the sole bread winners of their families and the meagre compensation announced by the employers would not compensate for the losses of the kith and kin of the victims. “All who were killed in the tragedy were in their prime,” said the embassy official.

Besides running about a dozen eateries the business group also runs a number of supermarkets in Doha and neighbourhoods, inquiries found.

As reported earlier in these columns, the kith and kin of any worker dying in Qatar while “either being at work or in the course of work” would have been entitled to receive an insurance compensation of QR200,000 as stipulated under clause No.14 of the Qatar Labour Law 2004, provided the deceased enjoyed insurance coverage.

“It is the legal responsibility and moral obligation of the employer (sponsor) to provide the compensation amounting to a minimum of QR200,000 to the kith and kin of the deceased if the employee did not enjoy insurance coverage at the time of his death,” explained legal and rights activist Nizar Kochery.

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