Kathmandu, June 12
Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has suggested the government to review the provision of ‘free visa, free ticket’ for foreign employment services.
“The provision of ‘free visa, free ticket’ for foreign job-seekers must be reviewed and a new criteria must be introduced,” said a study made by NRB.
Nepal has been sending workers to Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman under the ‘free visa, free ticket’ provision.
The study has also suggested that the government must maintain diplomatic agreements for foreign employment services with the governments of labour destinations. “It is necessary to properly manage and build the capacity of the staffers at the Department of Foreign Employment, establish necessary infrastructure and reduce the pressure of labour approval,” the report adds.
The study has urged the government to keep an eye on manpower agencies so that they adhere to the basic principles of foreign employment as stated by the country’s laws. It has also stated that manpower firms must maintain good governance and their institutional capacity must also be strengthened. “The manpower agencies are not registered as public limited companies but it is necessary that they practise good governance.”
The report has also mentioned that if a manpower company issues a fake contract letter to a worker, the concerned firm must be held liable for the loss that the worker faces.
The NRB study has also suggested that the manpower companies must be transparent regarding their income and expenses, must flow the actual information to the public, establish a board of directors, and ultimately convert to a public limited company.
The study has also urged the government to motivate and encourage foreign migrant workers to go for overseas jobs through genuine manpower companies. The government should also ask labourers going abroad to be aware of the hiring company in the destination, the report adds. “Looking at the current trend, one out of five workers who go abroad does so through illegal channels.”
The NRB study has also suggested the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security to classify and rate the manpower companies as per their performance.
“The government must rate the manpower firms in terms of number of workers sent, income of the manpower company, and the labour and financial condition of the hiring company that the concerned agency has sent workers to,” the report says. It has also urged the ministry to take into account the grievance handling procedure of the manpower company.
The study has suggested that if a company has a poor rating, it must be given one opportunity to improve and if it does not do so then its licence must be revoked.
The study has criticised the government’s system of only keeping data of foreign workers who go abroad but not of those who return to the country. It has also suggested the government to develop a new software to maintain its database and to also develop an online portal and apps so that foreign job-seekers can update themselves regarding job opportunities and foreign employment laws of Nepal and the destination country..
The NRB report has also urged the government to diversify the destinations in terms of sector, work and experience of the workers. It has also asked the government to look into the fees that are being charged from Nepali migrants for remitting home their income.
A version of this article appears in print on June 13, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.