Govt to set up National Employment Authority

Kathmandu, April 24

The government is preparing to set up an independent authority to oversee and address different employment issues that will arise after the coronavirus pandemic is contained and the nationwide lockdown is lifted.

On the recommendation of the National Planning Commission (NPC), the government is preparing to set up a National Employment Authority through the annual budget for fiscal year 202021. The 15th periodic plan of the government had also envisioned establishing such an authority to effectively implement different employment-related policies and programmes of the government and address other employment-related issues.

“As a result of the economic shock due to the coronavirus, many people are expected to lose their jobs. As creating new job opportunities and addressing the concerns of the unemployed population, including those who have lost their jobs, have to be the government’s topmost priority in the coming days, an independent authority is required to oversee all these issues,” said an NPC member, seeking anonymity.

By establishing the National Employment Authority, the government plans to introduce and implement new employment-related policies and programmes and also the existing Prime Minister Employment Programme and the Youth Employment Fund through a common window.

Besides ensuring job opportunities in the country to the available labour force, the authority will also be responsible for maintaining a central employment database, unleashing possible new employment opportunities, ensuring that the available labour force is well trained and offer jobs to the needy based on their skills and experiences.

Similarly, the authority will also be responsible for revamping the existing employment-related programmes of the government and effectively implementing them.

“The ultimate goal of the authority will be to bring down the unemployment rate in the country,” added the NPC member.

Meanwhile, the government is also introducing different programmes through the next budget to ensure 100 days of employment for at least 75,000 unemployed people. The 100-day employment programme will primarily target returnee migrant workers and those migrants who had already taken the work permit but were unable to travel abroad for jobs due to the pandemic.

Similarly, the government is also preparing to bring special programmes targeting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through the budget. SMEs are among the worst-hit sector by the coronavirus pandemic.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 25, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.