KATHMANDU: Only 2,701 youth have registered in the Employment Information Center’s (EIC) data base till the fag-end of the 11th month of fiscal year 2008-09.

Though the unemployment rate is growing by above 4,00,000 people

annually, Nepali youths do not seem much interested in searching for potential jobs, according to the Department of Labour (DoL).

DoL — the authorized government line agency for the operation of EIC – has established 14 EIC centers in each zone. “We have made set up sufficient infrastructure to collect information for next year,” said Amal Kiran Dhakal, acting director general of the department.

“Delay in establishment of DoL is the cause behind the low enrolment in the EIC roster,” he added.

DoL was established on February 13, 2009, bifurcating the earlier Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) into DoL and DoFE.

EIC is a priority programme of the Maoist-led government, just like the youth self-employment programme. The government had included EIC in 59 priority programmes of the current budget with the target of building ‘New Nepal’.

Of the 2,701 registered in the EIC roster, 1,150 are from Karnali zone.

Other zones have negligible registration, like Mechi and Sagarmatha only 256 have registed.

Mahakali only 235, Bheri 222, Koshi 150, Seti 139, Lumbini 110, Gandaki 66 and Narayani 60.

Janakpur has the least number of youths registered at the EIC – only 57 – whereas there is no report from the centres in Bagmati, Dhaulagiri and Rapti zones.

In the changed political scenario, DoL is skeptical whether the programme will continue or not. “We are looking for policy guidelines from the Ministry of Labour and Transport Management (MoLTM) for EIC’s continuity,” said Dhakal.

The department has proposed various activities and alloaction for EIC in the coming budget. DoL has posted three officials in each EIC centre. It is planning to put information on its online site of department within six months. “We are planning to build a roster on our site where details like gender, age, qualifications, skills, experiences and expectations of individual will be mentioned,” said Devashish Sapkota, who handles the roster at DoL.

Nepali youths seem reluctant to enlist in the roster because it does not provide direct benefit to them, said Sapkota. “People are not interested in EIC because it just a survey,” he said, giving the example of youth self-employment programme which attracted around 600,000 people in a month.