Labour pact with Oman soon

 Kathmandu, November 19

With an aim to provide more safety and security to Nepali migrants travelling to various destinations for employment purposes, the government has accorded priority to signing labour agreements with various nations in recent days. Similarly, the government is now gearing up to sign a labour pact with Oman, a Gulf Cooperation Council nation.

For this purpose, the Cabinet meeting on Monday endorsed a draft of the labour agreement to be signed with Oman, one of the major destinations for Nepali migrant workers, according to the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security (MoLESS).

According to Ram Prasad Ghimire, joint secretary at MoLESS, the government has formally invited the Omani Minister of Manpower, Abdullah bin Nasser Abdullah Al Bakri, to Kathmandu for negotiations and the pact is likely to be signed then.

“We have already forwarded the draft of the agreement that was endorsed by our Cabinet to the Omani government. However, the Omani government has informed that it is yet to be endorsed by their Cabinet,” he said, adding that there are some technical issues that need to be discussed at the bilateral level to take the agreement forward.

As per Ghimire, the agreement will put the interests and benefits of Nepali workers at its centre. Likewise, it will adhere to international labour laws, norms and values. Earlier, the government had invited Omani officials to hold discussions to finalise the draft of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on May 1. At that time, both the governments had agreed to get the MoU endorsed by their respective Cabinets.

As per the initial understanding, the Omani government is ready to hire Nepali migrant workers at zero cost. Moreover, as per the earlier discussion, Omani companies would bear the recruitment service charge, two-way airfare, visa fee, health check-up fee and the security screening charge, among others.

Nepal had signed MoU with the Oman in 2008. Till date, Nepali labourers have been flying to the destination on the basis of the MoU.