Kathmandu, November 28:

With a view to make the national planning process easy and effective, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), which works under the National Planning Commission, is going to conduct a national survey on labour force.

For the labour survey which is going to start in 2007, CBS will mobilise its workforce across the country. This is the second time that CBS is conducting a survey on labour force which has been delayed by more than two years, said an official at CBS on the condition of anonymity.

Officials at CBS comment that the situation is getting back to normal after the peace settlement between the government and the Maoist, which will help in taking stock of the employment scenario in the country. Interestingly, the National Planning Commission (NPC) is also coming out with a new vision for policy formulation on similar issues. CBS had conducted a labour survey in 1999 for the first time with financial support from the International Labour Organisation (ILO). However, this time around, ILO has already turned down the CBS’s request and is insisting that the government carry out survey on its own, CBS officials told The Himalayan Times.

According to the CBS official, the cost of the survey project will be in excess of Rs 50 million according to the current market value. CBS is looking for donors to support the forthcoming labour survey project.

According to the labour survey conducted in 1999, the number of employed people were 9.4 million. That number is most likely to have increased by 2006.

It would be interesting to note how the government, which does not have sufficient funds for carrying out regular jobs will undertake such specific jobs.

With new political set up in the country, even the ministry of finance, NPC, CBS and other similar organisations are reportedly reorienting their programmes and policies in the name of envisioning a new Nepal. According to ILO definition, a person has to have 40 hours of economic work completed in a week to be included in national employment survey. In the coming days, the CBS will follow the same guidelines, according to CBS experts.

Some of the sectors to be covered under the survey are farming, households, agriculture, manufacturing, retail business, financial sector, trade and tourism.

After the survey, the country will have a clear employment scenario, unemployment situation, underemployment and types of occupations people have. The survey will take one year to complete.

Changing employment

KATHMANDU: The SAARC Regional Poverty Profile 2005 states that employment growth of Nepal in the 1990-2000 stood at 2.1 per cent in agriculture and 5.9 per cent in the non-agriculture sector. However, for the fiscal year 2000-04, the SAARC report does not mention the employment growth rate of Nepal. According to the SAARC Regional Poverty Profile 2005, ninety five per cent of the poor in Nepal live in rural areas and nearly 80 per cent of all workers are employed in agriculture. However, agriculture growth rate has declined over time and it is acknowledged that access to non-farm work to supplement inadequate agricultural incomes is vital to the success of poverty reduction efforts. — HNS