EPS-S Korea aspirants may be in for a shock

KATHMANDU: There’s good news, and there’s bad news. The good news is that South Korea, a lucrative destination for Nepali blue-collar jobseekers, is still hiring Nepali workers despite the economic meltdown. The bad news is that it will be perhaps the last lot of 29 Nepali youths to leave for South Korea on June 1 under the 2008 quota because Employment Service System (EPS) is likely to be revised thereafter.

Nepalis, registered in EPS roster, will have to re-register after June 13. “People must submit their medical reports along with new applications,” an EPS source said seeking anonymity. The EPS section of Ministry of Labour and Transport Management (MoLTM) is planning to call for applications for EPS 2010. “It is still a plan, till date. We have not reached any conclusion,” he said.

The delay by Nepal government and the global economic crisis in South Korea had canceled EPS 2009. Earlier in February, Nepal’s ambassador to South Korea Kamal Koirala had promised to initiate EPS 2009. According to the plan, EPS 2009 should have started in March.

Nepal entered EPS in 2005. Thereafter Nepali foreign employement agencies started sending Nepali youths to South Korea. After rampant fraud by several agencies, the government took the chore into its own hands in 2007. Some agencies selected for EPS collected service fee up to Rs 1.6 million from Nepali youths ten fold than that authorized. Around 6,768 Nepali blue-collar jobseekers passed the Korean Language Test (KLT) last year and 6,556 were listed in the roster of EPS Nepal but the government managed to send only one-third under the quota of 2008. It is selecting people at a snail’s pace from the 2008 roster. Around 40 Nepalis left for South Korea on April 27.

Nepali worker found dead

KATHMANDU: A Nepali worker was found dead inside a firm in South Korea on Thursday. The deceased was identified as Buddha Gurung, 39, of Manang district. His body was kept in Chhuwan Hospital in Seoul. The cause of death is not known. Preparations are on to send Gurung´s body to Nepal. Soul-based Nepali organization Nepali Contact Committee is making arrangements for that. More than 100 Nepali migrant workers have died in South Korea dut to workload, alcoholic habits, mental stress and accide-nts in the recent past. — HNS