Nepal | February 22, 2019

MoLESS mulls over fund for migrant workers

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 29

The government is preparing to introduce either Social Security Fund or Foreign Employment Provident Fund for migrant workers. The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security (MoLESS) has conducted a study on providing social security scheme for migrant workers, people who have businesses abroad and non-resident Nepalis.

After receiving the study report at the ministry today, Labour Minister Gokarna Bista, said that if migrant workers want to join the scheme they will need to regularly contribute for three years. After returning to Nepal, they can choose whether they want to be associated with the Foreign Employment Provident Fund, Pension Fund or Social Security Fund.

Earlier, ministry had formed a study committee led by its Secretary Mahesh Prasad Dahal to see if there were any possibilities to start social security scheme for migrant workers.

The committee has recommended a template of implementation mechanism of the plan, responsibility of different stakeholders and when to start the plan.

According to the report, if a migrant worker is unable to contribute regularly to the fund for three years then the government will revoke the individual’s security plan and refund the amount that has been deposited. Similarly, if a worker dies abroad their beneficiary will get the deposited amount.

The committee has recommended the government to apply this scheme from next fiscal year. As per the report, if any migrant worker wants to join the scheme, they will have to deposit a minimum of Rs 24,000 to a maximum of
Rs 300,000 annually to the fund. The report also reads that the government should include all migrant workers in this scheme mandatorily.

The report further says that the government needs to amend bilateral labour pacts that it has signed with various nations and include a provision whereby the employer will have to deposit premium on behalf of the migrant worker.

“If a migrant worker’s family needs money from the fund for business or other purposes then the fund will provide the needed loan,” the report states.

Minister Bista said the government will launch the scheme as per the recommendations of the committee.

A version of this article appears in print on January 30, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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