KATHMANDU: The government has urged Non-Resident Nepalis (NRNs) to explore Nepali labour markets in their respective countries of residence.
Labour sending countries are using this strategy to expand labour markets and it will also be beneficial to Nepal, according to Mohan Krishna Sapkota, director general, Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE).
“NRNs can provide vital information on the scope for Nepali labourers in their countries of residence,” he said. According to Sapkota, the government wants NRN support in three major areas — jobs suitable for Nepalis, salary cum benefits and security of workers. Nepal’s overseas labour market has shrunk since mid-2008 due to the global economic crisis.
Foreign employment has a large base in the Nepali economy, with 20 per cent contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP). Nepalis working abroad sent Rs 209 billion remittance in 2008-09. Around 3 million Nepalis are believed to be working overseas, mainly in Gulf countries and Malaysia. Half of them are in illegal status. Meanwhile, another batch of 621 Nepalis is leaving Nepal for blue-collar jobs overseas.
Illegal migration to Gulf countries — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait — via India is a major challenge for the government in regulating Nepali outsourcing agencies. “Mere talk won’t solve the problem, the government must be strong enough to punish the culprits,” said Tilak Ranabhat, president of Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies.
Nepalis working abroad are mostly unskilled workers. According to an estimate, 71 per cent of Nepalis working abroad are unskilled workers, 27 per cent are semi-skilled and two per cent are skilled. DoFE has sought support from NRNs in providing skill training to Nepali workers. “If we get job information from you, it’ll help us train them as per the demand,” said Sapkota.
Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) vice-president Pradeep Jung Pandey advised not to depend on foreign employment. “Foreign employment never makes a country prosperous. We must focus on industrialisation of the country,” he said adding that Nepal’s major focus should be on foreign direct investment. Around 400,000 Nepalis enter the domestic job market each year.
Minister for Labour and Transport Management Mohammed Aftab Alam hoped the NRN global conference would be fruitful in expanding the Nepali labour market in other countries.
The first day of the NRN global conference started with comprehensive discussion on foreign employment under the theme — Foreign employment, migration and remittance: challenges and opportunities in the face of global financial crisis.

President Yadav preaches consensus

KATHMANDU: President Dr Ram Baran Yadav on Tuesday said that all political disputes should be resolved in parliament and Constituent Assembly. While inaugurating fourth global conference of the Non Resident Nepalese Association (NRNA) in the capital, the President also urged the parties to come to consensus through dialogue and reconciliation.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Sujata Koirala also spoke on the occasion. She requested the NRNs to make more investment in their homeland. “We’re working to promote economic diplomacy,” she said. Dr Upendra Mahato, outgoing president, NRNA, urged political parties to revive peace to ensure foreign investment in Nepal. — HNS