Give jobs to returnee migrants: House panel

Kathmandu, April 29

The Development and Technology Committee under the Federal Parliament has directed the government to provide jobs to the Nepalis who are likely to return home after being laid off from their jobs in the labour destination in the wake of the global COVID-19 crisis.

A meeting of the committee held today issued the direction.

A few days ago, the government had estimated that around 300,000 migrant workers could return home after losing their jobs due to the crisis.

Thousands of Nepalis working in various parts of India have already returned home.

The committee also directed the government to provide some other facilities to such workers in a package, in addition to employment.

Kalyani Khadka, president of committee, said that as thousands of Nepalis are returning from the destination countries, the government should provide them jobs based on their skills to help them cope in this adverse situation.

“The government needs to create and manage the necessary ground for utilising returnee migrants’ skills and provide them skills-based jobs,” said Khadka.

The committee has directed the government to make arrangements to continue the development work while pointing at lack of construction materials and labour even though the government has said that it will operate big development projects.

The committee also alleged that the relief materials have been distributed on the basis of party affiliation and urged the government to formulate criteria so that such relief materials reach the needy in a fair and transparent manner.

It has to be noted that the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security (MoLESS) has already stated that the budget will be prepared by giving priority to the Prime Minister Employment Programme (PMEP), which was initiated from last fiscal year.

A budget of Rs five billion has been allocated for this programme for this fiscal, up from Rs three billion in the last fiscal year. The government has also borrowed Rs 13 billion from the World Bank for the programme.

As per the MoLESS, the finance ministry is expected to provide Rs 10 billion for the programme next fiscal year to create massive employment opportunities across the nation.

Moreover, National Planning Commission (NPC) is coordinating with different ministries to establish a National Employment Authority to bring all employment-related issues under one umbrella. As per NPC, they are preparing an act to establish the authority.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 30, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.