MoLTM website still in horse-cart age

KATHMANDU: The world has gone hi-tech but this aspect is not reflected in the marketing of Nepali labour abroad. Both the government and private sectors seem reluctant to use modern technologies in foreign employment promotion.

Since 2006, the Ministry of Labour and Transport Management (MoLTM) has not updated the foreign employment section of its website The website is still linked to two departments — Department of Labour and Employment Promotion (DoLEP) and Department of Transport Management (DoTM) — under the ministry. MoLTM separated DoLEP into Department of Labour (DoL) and Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) in 2008. But, the website has only the names of the officials at the ministry.

Moreover, the DoLEP website describes placed Mohan Krishna Sapkota as director general though he is the director general of DoFE only. It lacks information about the director general of DoL. The website of DoTM, under the ministry, is in the same condition.

Information provided about the Nepali labour market on MoLTM and DoLEP websites is insufficient to promote Nepali labour abroad. These websites do not have information about government initiatives or policies. As a result, there is not a single sentence of information about the global economic crisis and its impact on Nepali labour market in destination countries.

Nepali blue-collar jobs in destination countries Malaysia, the UAE and Qatar have contracted by 17 per cent after September 2008. Two high-level teams — one led by the Labour Minister and another by the secretary of MoLTM — have visited destination countries in April to promote the Nepali labour markets there and study the effects of the global economic crisis.

Interestingly, a section of MoLTM’s website has updated information. The website of Employment Permit System (EPS) has latest information till May 8. The ESP website is one of the most visited sites. The site received around 391,380 hits since August 2008. But the EPS South Korea website does not have a Nepal country section like China, Philippines and Indonesia do.

The umbrella organization of foreign employment agencies, Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies (NAFEA), has also been negligent. The NAFEA website has also not been updated since 2007. The main page of the website decsribes Nepal as a ‘kingdom’ and its official religion as ‘Hinduism’ whereas the monarchy was abolished and Nepal become a secular state one year ago.

NAFEA’s website has information like “Nepalis are hardworking and honest”. Is that enough to promote Nepali labour in foreign countries? The government and private sector better wake up and turn hit-tech.