KATHMANDU, July 6 It may take some time before the foreign job-seekers eyeing seven major labour destinations can benefit from ‘free visa and ticket’ provision as the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) has said it will take at least two weeks to send workers as per the new facility. Based on the decision of Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE), the free visa and ticket provision for sending workers to seven countries — Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman — came into effect from today. On the first day, no final approval was issued by the DoFE for the lack of demand submission by manpower agencies to send workers under free ticket and visa provision. A few manpower agencies had applied for pre-approval of 50 workers today. “It will take around two to three weeks to start sending workers under the free visa and ticket provision, if the manpower agencies bring demand from the employers,” said Bishwa Prakash Subedi, chief of Kathmandu Office of the DoFE. He added that they would not process the applications related to the seven countries if the demand does not incorporate free visa and ticket facility. Foreign employment agencies are against the new provision, stating that it was introduced without proper homework and would reduce the demand from employers for Nepali workers. Addressing a press conference today, Bhola Prasad Shivakoti, secretary of MoLE, said that the government would revoke operating licence of firms that send workers charging fees against set provision. There are more than 752 licensed manpower agencies in the country that can bring demand and supply workers to 110 destinations. However, the seven destinations where the government has implemented free visa and ticket provision absorb over 95 per cent of total workers leaving Nepal for foreign jobs. Under the free visa and ticket provision, manpower agencies can charge maximum of Rs 10,000 per worker if employers refuse to bear all the costs to hire a worker. While collecting the fee, agencies must also issue receipt to the worker. As per previous provision of the government, maximum cost to leave for employment in Malaysia was set at Rs 80,000 per individual, while the cost was Rs 70,000 for the Gulf nations. The newly elected executive committee of Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Association Agencies (NAFEA) had also held second round of meeting with Labour Minister Tek Bahadur Gurung today regarding the free visa and ticket issue. However, Gurung had turned down the call of the agencies not to implement the provision. Irate agencies said that MoLE had introduced the new system without signing labour agreement with destination countries, which will favour few agencies but put business of many firms at risk.
New provision comes into effect
Published: 10:15 am Jul 07, 2015