DoFE to halt pre-approval of security guards

Kathmandu, September 5

The International Relations and Labour Committee of Legislature-Parliament has instructed Department of Foreign Employment under the Ministry of Labour Employment to ban sending security guards to foreign destinations for a month.

The DoFE has been asked to suspend all pre-approval processes for the jobs of security guards. The applications for the pre-approval are submitted by manpower companies based on the demand from the labour destinations where Nepali workers are permitted to work.

The parliamentary panel has instructed the process of pre-approval for jobs of security guards be halted as the manpower agencies have been found to be charging more money from foreign job aspirants and providing them with the receipt of only Rs 10,000 as allowed by the government. The government has barred manpower firms from charging more than Rs 10,000 to send workers in Malaysia and six Gulf nations — Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman — under the ‘Free Visa, Free Ticket’ provision.

The parliamentary panel has made this decision as one of the manpower agencies, named SRS Overseas Pvt Ltd, was found swindling money from foreign job aspirants. Following a probe by the DoFE based on a complaint filed by one person who had been sent to work as a security guard in the United Arab Emirates, the company had returned Rs 800,000 to the petitioner.

The DoFE is flooded with complaints of job-seekers being over-charged by manpower firms, especially those seeking to go abroad to work as security guards.

The House panel has decided to halt pre-approval process citing the need for further investigation as the government seems to be failing to effectively implement the free visa and free ticket provision. For the probe, the panel has formed a sub-committee comprising lawmakers Kamaladevi Sharma, Geeta Wagley, Chuda Mani BK Jangali, Meena Yadav, Min Biswokarma, Lalita Kumari Regmi and Jitendra Dev as members.

The subcommittee has been asked to submit its report within a month. Based on the report, the panel will instruct the government on how it can effectively enforce the free visa, free ticket provision.

“The subcommittee report will recommend the measures that the government should adopt to control ill-practices plaguing the foreign employment sector,” said Prabhu Shah, chairman of House panel.

The decision of the House panel to halt pre-approval process for security guards might affect flow of foreign job aspirants. Manpower firms start the selection process for foreign job aspirants only after receiving pre-approval from DoFE. After that, the manpower firms have to submit all the relevant documents to the DoFE for final approval.

Worst destinations for expats

KATHMANDU: A recent report unveiled by InterNations — a leading network and guide for expatriates in 390 cities worldwide — has said that Kuwait is the worst expatriate destination in 2016 as it has adopted a strategy to reduce the number of expats in public sector. The report has mentioned that after Kuwait, Greece, Nigeria, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Mozambique, Qatar, Italy and Tanzania have been ranked in the bottom 10 of expatriate destinations. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are two of the major labour destinations for Nepali migrant workers. A total of 20,000 expats were recently deported from Kuwait and 2,505 were arrested on charge of working there illegally. Expatriate population in Kuwait is around 69 per cent of the country’s total population and Kuwait government is preparing to lower the composition to around 50 per cent within this year. In the beginning of 2016, Kuwait introduced a law that compels expats aged over 50 to leave the country. Similarly, fall in oil prices has affected the job creation and retaining workers in Saudi Arabia.