Foreign calls for Nepali workers getting scarce

Kathmandu, March 6:

The demand for Nepali workers abroad dropped by 40 per cent in the second half of Falgun (February 21-March 5) because of the global financial crisis. The problem might deepen

further in the days to come as major destination countries like Malaysia and Gulf nations are facing severe financial crisis.

The Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) did not clear any file for foreign employment today as against four or five that it used to earlier everyday. “I used to approve at least four to five files a day till last month,” said DoFE director general Krishna Mohan Sapkota. Around 21,155 migrant workers got permission to go abroad in Poush and 18,715 in Magh — a clear 12 per cent drop.

According to Sapkota, the number might drop lower in the days to come. “The global labour market is shrinking everyday,” he said adding that the department was looking for new destinations to mitigate the looming crisis.

Sapkota said the Ministry of Labour and Transport Management (MoLTM) is in process of opening Lebanon also for Nepali women who can work there as house-maids. He added that , the Nepali embassy in Egypt is studying the situation of war-hit Lebanon.

A group of government officials will go to Libya and Jordan for feasibility studies. MoLTM has set three points: security, minimum wage above $200 per month and the impact of recession for the selection of a new destination. It is noteworthy that Nepal does not have diplomatic relations with Libya and Jordan — the latter a popular route for entering Iraq that the government has banned after 12 Nepalis were killed on September 1, 2005.