KATHMANDU, Sept 1: The Social Security Fund is forming a three-member team to evaluate proposed designs of social security schemes submitted by various firms, as a measure to expedite the process of rolling out schemes that ensures unemployment and maternity benefits, among others.
Till the deadline set by the Fund, three domestic firms have submitted proposals, Kebal Prasad Bhandari, executive director of the Fund told Republica.
“These proposals will be evaluated by a team comprising an official of the Insurance Board and one representative each from a trade union and employers´ organization,” Bhandari said, informing, “We have already asked different trade unions and employers´ organizations to reach a consensus on sending one representative each.”
The government had first issued a public notice on June 26, requesting interested firms and consultants to submit bids on developing social security scheme from scratch. After no one responded to the first call, the government issued another public notice requesting the same on August 1 based on which three proposals were received.
The three-member team formed under the Fund will now select a preferred bidder that will be responsible for developing the concept on formation of the social security system, suggesting how one-percent tax to be collected for the scheme would be utilized, deriving formulas to compute premium rates for different schemes and coming up with implementation plans.
“However, we have not given any deadline to the team to select the preferred bidder. But we will conclude the screening process at the earliest,” Bhandari said.
The Social Security Bill, which has been approved by Ministry of Labor and Employment, has identified nine core social security schemes to be rolled out over the years, which includes, unemployment, workplace accident, health, disability, maternity, family insurance, medical, dependent and old-age benefits.
Currently, the fund has been collecting one percent tax from basic salaries of workers of the formal sector to launch the schemes. From this, the government has collected an estimated 2.53 billion so far.
In future, it is planning to channel 10 percent of workers´ basic salary, which is currently being deducted to contribute to the provident fund, into the fund.
Likewise, employers have also pledged to contribute 20 percent of employees" basic salary to the fund, which includes money contributed to provident fund and extended as benefits. In this manner, the fund is planning to collect 31 percent of salary of every employee to roll out social security schemes.