Nearly 200 private firms register for Social Security Schemes

  • Officials say private companies joining the programme is an encouraging sign
- CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL, Kathmandu

Dec 8, 2018-

The formal private sector has responded positively to the recently launched Social Security Schemes, a landmark initiative that addresses the concerns of employees outside the government sector.

Various firms have started registering for the Contribution-based Social Security Schemes formally introduced on November 27 with much fanfare.

After the publication of the notice in the Nepal Gazette about registration of private firms in the welfare schemes on November 12, nearly 200 firms have approached the authorities for registration.

According to the government data, a total of 196 private firms representing various sectors have been registered so far with the Social Security Fund, under the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, that oversees the welfare schemes.

Labour Ministry Spokesperson Narayan Regmi said the rising number of firms coming forward to register was an encouraging sign of effective implementation of the scheme.

“Sooner or later, all of the private sector will join the scheme which is required to protect their workers,” said Regmi.

Individual employers, hoteliers, hospital operators, food and beverage manufacturers, academic institutions, automobile importers and sellers, and hydropower companies, among other private firms, have been listed under the schemes.

Shyam Raj Adhikari, executive director at the Social Security Fund, said employers can apply for the registration which has received good response for the scheme.

According to the Social Security Scheme’s operational directives, the employer should also complete registration of its workers and other processes within three months of enrolling in the scheme.

The Labour Ministry had announced different dates for registration in different provinces. The registration process for the scheme began in Province 3 on December 1; followed by registrations in Province 1 on December 16;

in Province 2 on December 30; in Gandaki and Province 5 on January 15.

Under the contribution-based scheme, for which both the employer and workers will be responsible, private sector workers will be entitled to old-age pension, medical treatment, health protection, maternity coverage, accidents, and disability compensation.

After registration, an estimated 3.5 million people will benefit from the schemes under which an amount equivalent to 31 percent of the workers’ basic monthly salary--11 percent deducted from their monthly salary and 20 percent employer’s contribution--going to the Social Security Fund.

However, the government faces a tall task of bringing in the informal sector.

“In the first phase, we are targeting only the formal private sector. Our success in incorporating the formal private sector, which is smaller in size, will teach us ways to address the larger informal sector,” said Adhikari.

Published: 08-12-2018 07:00

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