Ending monopoly of pre-flight service firms suggested

  • employment in malaysia, saudi
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 18, 2016-

A high-level taskforce formed by the Ministry of Labour and Employment has recommended the government take strong steps in ending the syndicate of Malaysia and Saudi Arabia in pre-departure health check-ups of Nepali migrants.

In a report submitted to the ministry on Monday, the taskforce urged the government to press the respective labour receiving countries to end their cartel in medical examination, arguing that it was creating additional financial burden on the workers.

Malaysia has appointed six outsourcing agencies giving them absolute control over the pre-departure services that Nepali migrants are supposed to get before leaving for their work destinations.

These agencies respectively process visa and stamp a hologram on the passport and work on biometric identification of the concerned workers and provide training to security guards at a costly price from jobseekers.

Saudi Arabia has also imposed a similar syndicate wherein migrants are put under health screening only from 12 medical centres affiliated to Gamca Nepal, an agent of the Saudi government.

The report suggests that the government send a joint-secretary-led delegation to hold talks with the Labour and Home ministries of Malaysia for taking in more agents to provide multiple pre-departure services to the migrants. The report has also suggested taking diplomatic initiatives to urge the Saudi government to end the syndicate in health screening.

The report states that Malaysia has been minting millions from migrants through its agents in Nepal--Migrams, VLN Nepal, OSC One Step Center and Immigration Security System-- by providing mandatory paid services of biometric medical system. Migrants going to Malaysia have to pay around Rs14,000 in addition to the around Rs20,000 that they are supposed to pay under the free-visa-free-ticket policy, a low cost recruitment policy that remains to be properly enforced despite having been introduced in 2015. Nepali security guards going to Malaysia have to pay around Rs19,000 to the training agency named Teleport Sdn Bhd.

Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd was the first Malaysian agent to enter Nepal with a visa processing duty at the Malaysian Embassy in Kathmandu. Visa processing fee for Malaysia rocketed from Rs700 to Rs3,900 after its arrival in November 2013. It is working in partnership with the Hong Kong-based Ultratech (HK) Limited and Malaysia VLN Nepal, a company based in Nepal.

Last year, Malaysia introduced two more agents in Nepal under the Foreign Workers Centralised Management System and biometric health check-ups. Though the Bestinet Sdn Bhd had assured that it would conduct health check-ups for regular fees, it started charging Rs7, 700 from each migrant through two agents. Earlier, migrants used to payRs2,625 for the purpose.

Published: 18-10-2016 07:44

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