Govt’s 7-day ultimatum to agencies

  • foreign employment
- Roshan Sedhai, Kathmandu
Govt’s 7-day ultimatum to agencies

Jan 17, 2015-

The Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) has given a seven-day ultimatum to overseas employment recruitment agencies to submit their organisational profile, including the annual audit report.

In a strongly-worded letter to the Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies (Nafea), the department has warned of stern action against those failing to submit the details as sought by Parliamentary International Affairs and Labour Committee in November last year.

Amid growing anomalies in the foreign employment sector and majority of the employment recruitment agencies’ cheating migrant workers, the parliamentary panel had directed the government to regulate the foreign employment sector.

The committee had directed the Ministry of Labour and Employment and concerned department to furnish annual audit report of recruiting agencies, document relating to their registration renewal and details of employees, branch offices and agents.

The House committee, while directing the government, had argued that recruiting agencies’ financial account and organisational status would help better regulate them and take action against the fraudulent ones.

According to the department, the recruitment agencies will also have to submit financial transaction and bills of last three years and name list, document and procedures followed during the recruitment process of each individual worker.

Recruiting agencies have ‘disobeyed and disrespected its order’ despite repeated requests to furnish document sought by the House committee, reads the department’s statement. “The department has decided to issue the final warning to foreign recruitment agencies for failing to furnish the sought documents as per Clause 54 of Foreign Employment Act 2064. The companies failing to submit the documents in seven days will face penalty,” it says.

Department officials said 44 overseas recruitment agencies have not submitted any document to the department and half of those who submitted the details have not included bills and paper works used in individual recruitment.

Almost half of the 760 registered overseas employment agencies—partially submitting or not submitting the documents even one and half months after getting the notice—are likely to face the action.

“We are studying their documents. Those not submitting the full documents will be asked to provide the missing documents,” said Bishwonath Dhakal, director general at the department.

The foreign employment business is seen as one of the most corrupt sectors with recruitment agencies found to have engaged in a range of malpractices, including use of forged bills to cover  exorbitant charges, submission of fake contract letter to obtain the government work permit for overseas jobs.

The use of irregular means to dispatch commission to local agents in work destination, sending maid in industrial visa and their male counterparts in individual visas are rampant in the business.

Human traffickers, imposter agencies and agents have thrived across the country as the government lacks proper mechanism to monitor them. Hundreds of workers are regularly cheated both inside and outside the country.

Nafea representatives say that most of the recruiting agencies have submitted the documents. They claim that they would hasten the process if the department gives them the list of agencies not submitting the document.

“It’s not possible to submit the bills, individual recruitment details as most of the agencies lost their documents during the 2004 riot following beheading of 12 Nepalis in Iraq,” said Nefea General Secretary Kumud Khanal. Hundreds of manpower agencies were attacked and documents burned during the riot.

Khanal accused that the department was harassing the recruiting agencies by denying registration and proof of documents’ submission.

 

Published: 18-01-2015 10:45

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