Probe panel to look into alleged misuse of fund

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 11, 2016-

 

The International Affairs and Labour Committee of Parliament on Wednesday formed a probe panel to look into alleged misuse of the Migrant Workers’ Welfare Fund (MWWF).  The five-member panel has been tasked to investigate into the possible misuse of migrant workers’ fund and provide recommendation on the organisational reforms of the Foreign Employment Promotion Board (FEPB)--a government body formed for welfare of the migrant workers and their families. 

Despite amassing around Rs3 billion from migrant workers, the FEPB has been doing precious little for welfare and well being of migrants and their families. The board has been spending millions as government expense every year in violation of the government’s own commitment to use the fund only for workers’ welfare. 

Annual audit report shows that the board has allocated more than Rs10 million to Nepali missions in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and South Korea to buy luxury vehicles for ambassadors. Similarly, the board spends millions to arrange administrative expenses of the embassies, the Department of Foreign Employment and empowerment of the recruiting agencies. 

The Act and FEPB statute state the fund will be used for “to train migrant workers, pay compensation to the injured and kin of dead migrants and arrange for their evacuation during crises. Other purposes of the fund are to arrange employment-oriented training for returnees, repatriate bodies of deceased migrant workers.

The formation of the panel to look into transparency on the use of the fund was one of the initiatives taken by the committee for promotion and protection of workers’ rights, according to committee Chairman Prabhu Sah. “It’s clear that the board isn’t doing enough for protection and promotion of migrants’ rights and welfare,” he said Sah.  

The five-member panel includes Pushkar Acharya, Binod Shrestha, Ashok Kumar Mandal, Radha Timilsina and Durga Poudel. 

Published: 11-08-2016 11:45

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