Kathmandu, April 30

The government has summoned Oman officials to hold discussions to finalise the draft of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on a bilateral labour agreement.

The government plans to formally sign an agreement with Oman for recruitment of Nepali workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council nation.

According to the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, the Oman government officials are scheduled to visit Nepal on Thursday for a two-day meeting to finalise the draft of the agreement. “We will finalise the final draft with Oman and soon after that, the agreement will be signed by the concerned ministers of the respective governments,” an official involved in the matter informed under the condition of anonymity as the discussions are private.

In February, Nepal and Oman had held discussions on the labour pact in Oman.

The official informed that the meetings had concluded on a ‘positive note’. “During that meeting, we had presented our concerns to the Oman government, and they had expressed willingness to address those issues.”

He informed that the Oman government has already agreed to hire Nepali migrant workers at zero cost. Moreover, as per the earlier discussion, Omani companies would bear the recruitment service charge, two-way airfare, visa fee, health check-up fee and the security screening charge, among others.

“We plan to sign a progressive agreement whereby migrant workers are not faced with any additional financial burden,” he added.

Nepal had signed MoUs with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman in 2008.

Till date, Nepali labourers have been flying to both the destinations on the basis of the respective MoUs.

Meanwhile, after a long discussion, Nepal and the UAE agreed to sign a revised labour agreement last week.

As per the agreement signed with the UAE, it should hire Nepalis at zero cost, employer firms should pay salaries through banking channel by 10th day of the month, workers will get medical and work insurance coverage, a new ‘standard employment contract’ will be developed, workers will be entitled to 90 days of sick leave in a year, equal treatment will be given to Nepali migrant workers with regard to health insurance, accident insurance and security, among others. Also, special arrangements will be made for Nepali women migrant workers by the UAE.

The current government has been focusing on bilateral labour pacts with different countries to ensure that Nepali migrant workers are secured and given proper facilities by destination countries.