Rs 190m doled out from foreign employment welfare fund

Kathmandu, November 23

The Foreign Employment Promotion Board (FEPB) has distributed compensation amount of around Rs 190 million to the family members of those who lost their lives in the course of foreign employment in the first four months of the current fiscal year.

The government body provides the compensation from the Foreign Employment Welfare Fund to the family members of those migrant workers who pass away, get injured or suffer serious ailments during their course of duty in a foreign land.

Citing the data maintained by the FEPB, Tara Bahadur Kunwar, spokesperson for FEPB, informed that the kin of 282 people who had died during foreign employment received compensation of Rs 700,000 per migrant worker from the government.

Similarly, 135 people who were injured during work received the total relief amount of up to Rs 700,000 each from the government. Likewise, 17 migrant workers have received Rs 50,000 each from the FEPB for the treatment of family members who are seriously ill.

“The board has been providing the compensation for the victims as soon as possible,” Kunwar claimed.

As per him, migrant workers who are leaving for Gulf countries and Malaysia with a maximum three-year work permit have to contribute Rs 1,500 per person to the welfare fund. Similarly, those workers with more than three-year contract period and leave for South Korea and Israel have to pay Rs 2,500 each to the fund. The fund that was set up around a decade ago has so far collected Rs 4.25 billion.

“Before an amendment to Foreign Employment Regulation on July 31, migrant workers were obliged to contribute Rs 1,000 each to the fund. However, the government had increased the compensation amount along with the amount to be contributed to the fund for migrant workers,” Kunwar stated.

With that amendment, the government had doubled the compensation amount that is given to the relatives of migrant workers who pass away, suffer serious injuries or become critically ill while working abroad to Rs 700,000 from Rs 300,000 earlier.

As per Raghu Raj Kafle, executive director of the board, if any migrant worker dies at the work station, his or her kin can claim the compensation amount under the welfare scheme. Moreover, migrant workers with valid work contract will be eligible to claim the compensation amount even if they are not in their labour destination during any major accident. “We are trying to utilise this fund to rescue the migrant workers who are imprisoned in their working destinations,” he informed.

He stated that migrant workers are also required to have life insurance of Rs 1.5 million and insurance against critical illness of Rs 500,000 before they are allowed to go abroad to work.