Kathmandu, November 27
The contribution-based social security scheme, which was launched by the government today, will prove to be a milestone in enhancing cordial relationship between workers and employers, as per stakeholders.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, said the launch of the social security scheme marks the beginning of a new era. In fact, the government has marked Mangsir 11 of the Nepali calendar as Social Security Day.
PM Oli said that the newly unveiled system would bring onboard all haves and have-nots, employed or unemployed and also those who lose their jobs due to various circumstances.
The prime minister further stated that the social security scheme will also help achieve the government’s vision of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’ by creating a better environment for workers. “The Social Security Fund is a win-win scheme for both labourers who seek security and employers who seek liberal labour policies.”
Meanwhile, Bhawani Rana, president of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said, “We have held talks regarding the scheme with the government over a long period of time and we believe it will ensure sound ties between workers and employers that could go a long way in assisting country’s development process.”
“This is a day of structural transformation in Nepal’s industrial sector and it could help increase investment in the country’s industries,” she added. However, she pointed out the need to maintain privacy and secrecy of the data that the government collects of the formal sector workers.
Also speaking during the inauguration, Hari Bhakta Sharma, president of Confederation of Nepalese Industries, has suggested the government to invest the money collected in the Social Security Fund in physical infrastructure and productive sector. “There could be some challenges for the government when the funds are being used so it needs to be properly managed.”
On the occasion, President of Joint Trade Union Coordination Committee Bishownath Pyakurel, said this historical announcement will benefit both workers and employers. “The scheme has been introduced after the government held discussions with various trade unions and employers for a better outcome and we welcome it.”
Meanwhile, Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security Gokarna Bista, said that the launch of the social security scheme was a new beginning for the country and will also help in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
As per the scheme, from May 22, private sector employees will have to mandatorily contribute 11 per cent of their basic salary to the fund, while employers will have to contribute another 20 per cent of the employees’ basic salary. Once these contributions are made, employees will be entitled to compensation if they lose a job or cannot attend the workplace because of pregnancy, illness or accident.
As per scheme, of the total fund collected SSF will allocate 3.22 per cent for medical treatment, health and maternity security and 4.52 per cent for accident and disability security. It will allot 0.87 per cent for dependent family security and 91.39 per cent for old age security in the name of pension.
A version of this article appears in print on November 28, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.