National

20 workers get labour permits for Malaysia

  • Labour department says people who have obtained working visas directly from the embassy will have no problem obtaining permits
- CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL, Kathmandu

Jan 22, 2019-

The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security has decided to issue labour permits to the Malaysia-bound workers, provided that the Embassy of Malaysian in Kathmandu directly issues visas to them.  

Following the directive from the ministry, the Department of Foreign Employment has issued labour permits to 20 workers who had directly approached the embassy for working visas. The embassy informed the department in a letter dated January 18 that visas had been granted to these workers, and that they would be working with a tunnel company in Malaysia.

“The ministry had sent us the list of workers who had been granted visas. Work permits were issued based on the ministry’s decision, the letter from the embassy and the application of the employer company,” said Dilip Chapagain, director general at the labour department.  

The batch of 20 workers, who obtained labour permits and subsequently left for Malaysia, is the first group of Nepali workers to reach Malaysia since both countries signed a labour deal on October 29, 2018.

According to an official at the ministry, departure of these workers does not mean that the government has resumed sending workers to Malaysia. “If the embassy oversees their pre-departure process and grants visas, the government will not have any problem issuing labour permits to the concerned workers,” the official said.

Recruiting agencies have long been demanding that the government make arrangements for departures of those workers with calling visas issued by the Malaysian authorities.  

According to Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies, nearly 10,000 workers had obtained calling visas from the Malaysian government before the government suspended labour migration to the country. In a bid to collect details of those workers barred from entering Malaysia despite obtaining calling visas, the labour department on Monday asked all recruiting agencies to submit the documents of these workers within 15 days.   

“The government does not want to bar these workers from going to Malaysia for jobs. If the Malaysian embassy is willing to facilitate their departure by stamping their visas here in the country or by making an arrangement whereby their visas are stamped in Malaysia upon arrival. In that case, we can provide them final permit,” the official said.

Meanwhile, NAFEA has criticised the government move of issuing labour permits to 20 workers who had directly applied for working visas at the embassy, while prohibiting recruiting agencies from facilitating visa processing works for workers trying to visit Malaysia for employment.

NAFEA President Rohan Gurung also said in statement that the recruiting agencies would not submit the details of the workers with calling visas, as requested by the labour department.  

“Recruiting agencies have already submitted these details to the Foreign Employment Office, Tahachal. We will not be producing the same details to the labour department,” Gurung said.   

It’s been more than two months since Nepal and Malaysia signed a labour agreement, but the departure of Nepali workers to Malaysia has yet to begin in the absence of the mechanism to implement the deal.

Published: 22-01-2019 09:32

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