MoLESS to prioritise job creation, entrepreneurship

Kathmandu, April 28

The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security (MoLESS) has started discussions regarding the budget for fiscal year 2020-21 giving top priority to creating employment within the country and promoting entrepreneurship.

The ministry has said that the budget discussion has moved ahead by including programmes to create employment and promote entrepreneurship as the coronavirus outbreak could lead to job cuts and unemployment among Nepalis worldwide.

Suman Ghimire, joint secretary and spokesperson for MoLESS, informed that discussions are underway to introduce policies and programmes that can help create employment opportunities in the country. “Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the situation at present is a lot more different than what it was previously,” he said, adding that the ministry is thinking differently now as the priority is to create jobs and promote entrepreneurship in a massive way.

“We have given priority to strengthening domestic employment, mobilising the skills of returnee migrant workers at home, developing entrepreneurship among them and providing the necessary investment, skills and training to the workers,” Ghimire said.

He also informed that the ministry is making preparations to further enhance the labour agreements with various labour destinations to facilitate the flow of foreign job-seekers.

The ministry also stated that a promotional programme will be introduced to encourage private sector workers to be affiliated with the Social Security Fund. The ministry has stated that the budget will be prepared by also giving priority to Prime Minister Employment Programme (PMEP) which was started last year.

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

“We have proposed to the Ministry of Finance to provide Rs 10 billion for the programme to create more employment opportunities across the nation,” Ghimire said, adding, the government has given priority to the promotion of domestic employment.

“Discussions are underway to allocate half of the total budget allotted to MoLESS for the PMEP,” he revealed.

Millions of Nepali youths who had gone abroad for foreign employment are in a situation where they could lose their jobs and be impelled to return home due to the COVID-19 contagion. Likewise, unemployment could also massively surge within the country. As a result, the PMEP has been given special priority, according to MoLESS.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 29, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.