MoLTM bid to jog JITCO process

KATHMANDU:The Ministry of Labour and Transport Management (MoLTM) has intensified the Japan International Training Cooperation Organisation (JITCO) process to send Nepali workers to Japan soon.

A high-level team of Labour Minister Mohammad Aftab Alam, secretary Babu Ram Acharya and section officer Bhagabhan Thani will visit Japan’s JITCO office on October 22-27. “JITCO is my priority project and I am working hard to finalise it within this year,” said Alam. Getting more quota for Nepalis in industrial training service (ITS) will be our major focus, he added. The team will explore other sectors where Nepalis can be hired.

“Care-givers can be a good sector for Nepalis,” said Acharya, “As the life expectancy of Japanese is increasing, it will be a new

sector.” According to an estimate, the Japanese government

needs more than five million care-givers to support its aged population in 2010.

During the visit, the team will hold talks with Japan’s minister for labour, minister for law, JITCO officials and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). “Talks with ministers and JITCO officials will be under the ITS process,” said Alam.

The Nepali team will focus on two major areas — signing new MoUs and getting more quota for ITS. “My concern is to send more Nepalis to Japan,” said Alam adding that more numbers of unemployed Nepali youth should benefit from it. The meeting with Japanese officials will decide the policy guidelines for the JITCO process in Nepal.

Nepal and Japan signed an MoU in December 2003 for JITCO but its sole agent Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) could not succeed in sending workers till 2008. FNCCI has sent two groups of industrial trainees in 2009.

After the failure of FNCCI, MoLTM decided to include foreign employment agencies in the JITCO process. It selected 172 foreign employment agencies for JITCO this May. “We don’t favour either FNCCI or outsourcing agencies. The new MoU will provide sufficient space for both,” said Alam.

The New MoU for JITCO will set the visa fee, service charges

and other prerequisites, said Acharya. According to him, Nepali workers going to Japan under ITS must have knowledge

of Japanese language and culture along with good physical health. “Japan wants physically fit people for ITS,” he said. JITCO officials are coming to Nepal in February 2010 for the implementation

of the MoU.

Meanwhile, the government is also including the duties and responsibilities of outsourcing agencies in the MoU. “They will be responsible for the behaviour of Nepalis at work,” said Acharya. The Japanese are quite suspicious of the unionist tendency of Nepalis, he added.

Talks with JICA officials will be for transport sector reform, said Acharya. JICA has been supporting the Nepali transport sector since two decades. Also, MoLTM has been running vehicle number plates and blue-book modernizing projects with the support of Asian Development Bank.