Bista moots employment board name change to spur local jobs

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Committee members raise their concerns about the migration of Nepali girls and women to war-torn countries via India

Aug 24, 2018-In a symbolic gesture to express government’s commitment to promote employment opportunities inside the country, the government is preparing to change the name of the existing Foreign Employment Promotion Board (FEPB).

The new name of the FEPB, which is overseeing the welfare aspects of Nepali migrant workers, will be changed to Foreign Employment Management Board (FEMB).  

The proposal to change the name of the FEPB was informed by the Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security Gokarna Bista to the meeting of the parliamentary committee of industry, commerce, labour and consumer interest.

Addressing the meeting, Minister Bista said the name change was done as per the government’s larger goal of creating employment opportunities for manpower inside the country.  “Utilising the human resources and their skills for nation building is our main priority. We certainly don’t encourage our youths to go on foreign employment. The board name suggested it promotes labour migration. Therefore, it would be changed,” said Bista.

The entity should rather manage the foreign employment sector than promoting until the labour migration by compulsion is stopped, added the labour minister.

During the meeting, committee members raised their concerns about the migration of Nepali girls and women to war-torn countries like Iraq and Syria via India.

Minister Bista said the labour ministry was working in close co-ordination with the Ministry of Home Affairs to stop such unsafe labour migration of women, which makes them vulnerable to human trafficking.

Minister Bista informed the parliamentary committee that the government was preparing to bring Nepali workers who are in a state of coma in various hospitals in different labour destination countries.

According to the government data, 20 Nepalis, who were working in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, are in coma and undergoing medical treatment there. Nepalis in coma include 11 in Qatar, five in Saudi Arabia, and two each in Bahrain and the United Arab of Emirates (UAE).

The minister said the government was making arrangements to bring those workers back home and treat them in various hospitals.

“Treatment of workers, lying in unconscious state in foreign hospitals, will be done at home. The discussion is on about hospitals where they will be treated once they are brought back,” minister told the committee.

Regarding Nepali workers locked in foreign jails, the minister said not a single Nepali worker would be left to languish in prison just because they can’t afford the legal services.

“Many workers are locked up in jails for minor offences or because they cannot bear the cost of legal services. The government is concerned about even a single Nepali citizen in prison in any part of the world, and will provide them legal assistance,” he said.

Published: 24-08-2018 07:35

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