KATHMANDU, Aug 25: The government has formed two high-level committees to curb irregularities and malpractices in the foreign employment sector.
The committees have been given sweeping powers including carrying out sudden inspections of concerned offices, transferring and suspending government employees and taking immediate action against manpower agencies involved in unscrupulous practices.
A meeting organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) with representatives of concerned ministries and other stakeholders on Friday formed Central Coordination Committee with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Narayankaji Shrestha as chairman and Special Rapid Action Task Team with joint secretary at Home Ministry Shankar Koirala as chairman. The committees will start work Sunday.
The Central Coordination Committee, which also comprises the labor minister and the chief secretary will take immediate action against the government employees and manpower agencies found involved in fraudulent practices. Other members of the Central Coordination Committee include secretaries from Home, Law, Tourism, Foreign Affairs ministries and National Vigilance Center (NVC).
The government´s decision comes in the wake of some manpower agencies taking Nepalese nationals abroad illegally and abandoning them midway to the promised destinations. Only recently, the government had rescued nearly two dozen Nepalis who were stranded in Madagascar.
The Special Rapid Action Task Team headed by Joint Secretary Koirala comprises joint secretaries at NVC, Executive Director of Foreign Employment Promotion Board and Director Generals of Foreign Employment Department, Department of Immigration and Tribhuvan International Airport as members and under secretary at Labor Ministry as member secretary.
“The Committee has been given authority ranging from carrying out sudden inspections to recommending action against those involved in fraudulent practices in the foreign employment sector,” said MoFA Spokesperson Arjun Bahadur Thapa.
The meeting held on Friday as continuation of a previous similar meeting was participated by ministers and senior government officials including chief secretary and security officials including the chief of Nepal Police.
Addressing the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Shrestha said foreign employment is a compulsion as Nepal is unable to provide employment to the entire work force in the country.
“The need of the hour is how we can ensure that Nepalis do not have to suffer abroad and how to ensure them fair wages,” he said. “There is a need for positive and qualitative intervention to make foreign employment dignified.”
According to government figures, some 2.4 million Nepalis are currently working in various countries.
The meeting had discussed in detail as to how the concerned government agencies work in close coordination to check the anomalies in the foreign employment sector. Participants concluded that the foul practices of officials at immigration, airport security and airlines authorities had given rise to the trend of people going abroad illegally.