Rs 8.49m for priority EIC programme

KATHMANDU: The budget for the fiscal year 2009-10 has included Employment Information Centre (EIC) as a first priority programme with an allocation of Rs 8.49 million.

Around 4,00,000 Nepali youths enter the labour market each year but the whereabouts of these youths are unknown due to the lack of information.

Former Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai had introduced the programme in 2008-09’s budget to establish a data bank of Nepali labour force.

The Maoist-led government had given charge of EIC to the Department of Labour (DoL) on February 13, 2009 by bifurcating the earlier Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) into DoL and Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE).

The government had included EIC in 59 priority programmes with the target of building ‘New Nepal’.

The DoL-authorized government line agency for the operation of EIC had established 14 centres in April 2009 and started collecting information by the end of April.

“DoL is a new department, so it took time to establish centres,” said Amal Kiran Dhakal, acting director general of the department, “It will gain momentum this year.”

DoL is planning to establish broadband internet link among centres and a roster on the department’s internet site within six months. “I hope DoL will have a resourceful data bank next year — by the beginning of 2010,” he said. DoL is planning to include gender, age, qualifications, skills, experiences and expectations of individual listed in centres.

According to Dhakal, DoL has collected information on the employment status of 2,701 youth by the end of 11 months of the last fiscal year. “We have to go public to make the data bank rich,” he said.

The budget 2009-10 has also promised to use toll-free telephones and local FM radios for the purpose.

Moreover, the budget 2009-10 has allocated Rs 178.08 million for labour related programmes whereas it has given DoL Rs 9.42 million and allocated Rs 18.84 million for labour offices throughout the country.

37 job aspirants to go to S Korea

KATHMANDU: Around 37 Nepali blue-collar job aspirants are leaving Nepal for South Korea, a lucrative foreign employment destination, on Monday to work in agriculture and fisheries industries under Employment Permit System (EPS) in the quota of 2008.

EPS South Korea had stopped hiring migrant workers in manufacturing industries since June 10 citing no more labour demand for the manufacturing sector for 2009. Earlier, on July 13 South Korea had hired around 25 Nepali blue-collar job aspirants. — HNS