National

Job applicants hit as govt awaits Malaysia’s response

- CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL, Kathmandu

Jun 23, 2018-

A month after the government launched an offensive against agencies illegally charging hefty fees on Malaysia-bound workers, the biggest job market for Nepali migrants continues to be affected.

Departures of Nepali migrants for Malaysia have been halted for over a month after the government declared the agencies providing visa processing services as illegal for operating against its policy and overcharging prospective migrant workers.

Nepali workers had been charged an additional Rs18,480 for MiGRAMS, biometric medical test, services of One Stop Centre (OSC) operated by Malaysia VLN Nepal Pvt Ltd during visa processing, and ISC conducted by GSG Services Nepal.

On May 17, the government scrapped additional fees being charged on Nepali workers under several headings, terming such services invalid as they had been enforced over the years without the government’s consent.

Following the government decision and crackdown, the agencies has stopped visa processor have stopped working, bringing Nepali worker’s departures to a complete halt. “The Foreign Employment Office has stopped issuing labour permits for jobs in Malaysia since the government’s decision came into force,” said Bhabishwor Pandey, chief of the FEO, Kathmandu. Prior to the decision, the FEO

used to issue around 150 labour permits every day. But the number has since plummeted to zero.

Obstruction in labour migration to Malaysia--one of the most popular job destinations among Nepali migrant workers--has affected the foreign employment sector.Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security Gokarna Bista admitted that the government’s decision has affected the labour migration, but said it cannot let anyone or agencies operate illegally and cheat poor workers on any pretexts.

“More than departures of migrant workers, what is more important to us is to eradicate illegal activities that rob our poor migrant workers. We cannot simply turn a blind eye to activities that have over the years benefitted to some people but cheated thousands of migrant workers,” said Minister Bista, maintaining that the government move was part of its long-term vision of making the foreign employment sector fair and transparent.

Published: 23-06-2018 07:39

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