KATHMANDU, July 7: The Ministry of Labor and Employment is hosting a three-day National Labor and Employment Conference from Monday with the aim of holding social dialogue on improving labor relations, creating domestic employment opportunities and reintegrating foreign employment returnees.
This is the third time the country is holding such a conference, which is a jamboree of sorts for stakeholders of the labor market - the employers, employees and the government.
The conference, which is being held with support from the International Labor Organization, will discuss four core issues, according to Dr Man Bahadur BK, director general of the Department of Labor.
"First will be on improving industrial labor relations which is essential in creating an investment-friendly environment," Dr BK elaborated. This issue is being raised at a time when the government has declared 2012/13 as the Investment Year.
Second will be on revision of the Labor Law, which is termed "rigid" by many investors. "We hope the conference will provide a platform to vioce concerns of both employees and employers so that they can be accommodated in the new labor law," BK said.
Third issue, which will be discussed at the conference, will be on promotion of domestic employment.
"This topic is being discussed against the backdrop of the recent restructuring of the labor ministry, which has shed the component of transport management and has added employment to it," Dr BK said, expressing hope the conference will initiate meaningful dialogue on creation of decent domestic employment opportunities so that the country does not always have to rely on overseas migrant workers to keep the economy afloat.
Lastly, the conference will discuss formulation of programs and packages so as to reintegrate Nepali overseas workers who have returned home.
"To discuss these topics in detail, five working papers will be presented at the conference," Dr BK said.
The conference will be participated by 250 people, including government officials, representatives of 10 major trade unions and officials of employers´ organizations such as the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Confederation of Nepali Industries, Nepal Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small and Cottage Industries.