Kathmandu, September 25
A Nepali delegation will be visiting Kuala Lumpur of Malaysia on Wednesday to hold discussions and sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on a bilateral labour agreement between the two countries.
The three-member team will be led by Joint Secretary at Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security (MoLESS) Krishna Gyawali and include Tapas Adhikari, chief of South East Asia Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Kabindra Gautam, joint secretary of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs.
According to Prakash Dahal, spokesperson for MoLESS, the Nepali delegation will hold discussions with the Malaysian human resources minister and home minister and sign MoU on September 28.
The Nepali government has returned the latest draft of the labour agreement sent by the Malaysian government after incorporating its inputs and suggestions. The draft memorandum of understanding has been exchanged four times between Nepal and Malaysia. “This is the fifth time we will be sharing our inputs on the draft of the MoU,” informed Dahal.
According to him, the two governments will ink a memorandum of understanding to supply Nepali labour force to Malaysia through thegovernment-to-government or business-to-business model, under which the private sector of the two countries will engage in hiring and supplying Nepali workers to Malaysia by fulfilling the mandates of the MoU signed between the two nations.
The supply of Nepali workers to Malaysia has been halted since May after the Nepal government cracked down on Immigration Security Clearance and One Stop Centre that had been levying additional charges on Nepali migrant workers. Since then, the government has not been issuing work permits to Nepali migrant workers aspiring to go to Malaysia.
The valid visa fee for Malaysia is Rs 700. However, Nepali migrants had been paying extra charges in the name of visa processing.
Following the long halt in supply of Nepali workers to Malaysia, the two governments had geared up to sign a memorandum of understanding on labour issues. Though Nepal had initially sought government-to-government level agreement on supply of labour from Nepal, the plan
was found to be ‘infeasible’ for the moment as a huge number of Nepali workers travel to Malaysia every year.
The agreement will ensure that Nepali workers are paid better in Malaysia, treated fairly by employers, receive 24-hour insurance and compensation from the employing firms in case of accidents during work, among others.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian employer will also have to ensure free visa and free ticket to Nepali workers, as mentioned in the draft.
A version of this article appears in print on September 26, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.