Kathmandu, October 17
The government has failed to bring registered firms under its flagship programme, Social Security Scheme, within the stipulated timeframe, with only 0.88 per cent of firms registered at Social Security Fund (SSF).
As per the SSF, 8,139 employers and 91,855 employees have been registered for the contribution-based social security scheme for the formal sector firms so far.
The number falls far short of the 923,000 firms registered at the Office of Company Registrar and hints at the possibility of thousands of formal sector employees being left out of the scheme, as the deadline given to companies to submit their details and that of their staff ended today.
Kapilmani Gyawali, executive director at SSF, informed that many firms submitted their details at the office till late evening today. “The number of firms registered at SSF could rise to nearly 9,000 with details of around 110,000 employees being registered.”
Earlier, the government had set the final deadline for firms to register their details by end of fiscal year 2018-19. However, owing to the lukewarm response, the government had extended the deadline for registration by three months to October 17.
As per Gyawali, though the registration deadline ended today, the fund has not officially closed the registration process. He added that the final decision regarding the registration process will be taken after a few days.
Since Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security, Gokarna Bista, who is the line minister of the fund, and chairperson of the fund and Secretary of the ministry, Binod KC, are abroad at present, a meeting could not be held today.
“The SSF board meeting will decide whether to stop or give continuity to the registration process,” Gyawali said.
Meanwhile, the government has not yet announced how the companies that are not registered at SSF will be penalised.
“Sooner or later all firms will have to join the scheme. So, those that get registered and start making regular deposits to the fund will get benefits sooner,” Gyawali said.
The government had launched the scheme on November 26. Under it, the employer would contribute 20 per cent of the basic salary of the employees and the latter would contribute 11 per cent to the fund. Of the contributed amount, 3.22 per cent will be utilised for medical, health and maternity benefits; 4.52 per cent for accidental and disability benefits; 0.87 per cent for dependent family members and 91.39 per cent for old-age security.
The government plans to extend the scheme for workers in informal sector soon.
A version of this article appears in print on October 18, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.