Teams to work on Employment Guarantee Act

KATHMANDU: The National Planning Commission (NPC) has formed two task forces to formulate policy and legal framework, which the government can introduce in order to provide basic opportunities of employment to the poor and unemployed people.

According to Yuba Raj Pande, secretary, NPC, the panels will suggest the government ways to conduct a programme for the purpose. The committees headed by secretary Pande are on social security and employment guarantee.

Regarding social security, the panel will identify ongoing programmes and see if they need adaptation or improvement. It has representatives from finance, agriculture, physical planning, local development and education ministries.

On employment, the task force concerned has prepared a concept paper, whose endorsement will pave way for the drafting of an Employment Guarantee Act. For such a draft to be an Act, it needs the approval of the Cabinet before presenting it as a bill in the parliament for endorsement.

“We are studying similar programmes being implemented in Bangladesh and India,” Pande said. The interim constitution of Nepal has provisioned the citizens’ right to employment but there are no programmes to guarantee it. A large number of Nepali youths are labouring in a foreign country while a great deal of them are unemployed or seasonally employed back home.

Under the social security heading, the government has been running programmes such as free health service, subsidy on transportation of foodstuff in remote areas and on chemical fertilisers as well as allowances to the elderly and old widows. “The team concerned will see how these programmes are being run and whether the agencies conducting them are capable enough before preparing a report,” Pande added.

Some programmes being conducted in order to create employment opportunities are ‘food for work’ and ‘Karnali employment programme’. The team will also work out minimum number of employment days for separate regions such as the Tarai and the mountain after studying cases of other countries.