A number of manpower suppliers have expressed concern over their future due to an "apparent slowdown" in the construction sector, it is learnt.
Enquiries reveal that there has been a fall in the sector's requirements and only a "handful of new orders" are coming for manpower firms from construction companies.
"A year ago, new orders from contractors would show up on our computer screen since morning. We used to get at least two or three good business orders virtually every month besides a number of small orders on a weekly basis. Now, one new big order is hard to come by," said the manager of a manpower firm, which has some 250-300 employees deployed in projects handled by different contractors.
Similar sentiments were expressed by operators of other companies.
Some of them said their companies would face greater challenges if they did not receive new orders in the coming days. Their hope is that projects will get a boost in a couple of months as some key infrastructure development works across Qatar will enter a "major phase shortly", leading to a rise in the demand for manpower services.
While some construction firms are releasing their workers due to an apparent cash crunch, there are also reports of firms close to winding up their operations after their failure to settle the salary arrears of workers.
A major crisis faced by an Abu Dhabi-headquartered firm, having operations across the region, including in Qatar, was reported in Gulf Times recently. A representative of a manpower firm said this particular company owed them a "big amount" but there was little hope that the money would be recovered from them.
A long-timer in the field said only larger manpower firms with big resources could afford to remain active in the current scenario. However, even their representatives feel there is a delay in payments at present, it is found.