A high-level government team is soon heading to South Korea to sign a memorandum of understanding with that country so that Nepali labourers aspiring to work in South Korea could be sent as per the Employment Permit System (EPS). Once the EPS comes into force, the Nepal Government alone would be entitled to send workers to South Korea. Such a system will immensely benefit the workers as the EPS will guarantee them not only jobs but also set working hours, insurance benefits and above all security. Under the EPS, the nature of their job would be pre-determined and employment terms will be at par with their Korean counterparts.
An initiative such as this from the state had become necessary because, over the years, many private manpower companies at home thoughtlessly cheated poor workers, who, in turn, had to face immense hardships in foreign lands. That is why the EPS with South Korea is indeed a very good beginning. However, government’s involvement does not guarantee corruption-free and transparent dealings. The government’s role should thus be limited to streamlining the entire manpower business. But ultimately, the task should be given to the private sector. However in doing so, sufficient safeguard measures should be introduced and monitored stringently. The contribution some 10 lakh Nepali labourers currently employed in various Gulf and other Asian countries make to the national economy through remittances is of paramount importance.