Government extends registration deadline for employment scheme

  • A minimum 100-day job guarantee programme has received mixed reactions

Apr 23, 2019-

The government has extended the deadline for registration of unemployed population under the Prime Minister Employment Programme by a month.

The Labour, Employment and Social Security Ministry has extended the application deadline until May 14 in a bid to allow more time for potential beneficiaries to get enrolled under the scheme, which was launched in February this year to ensure a minimum 100-day of paid work for productive age-group population.

According to Prakash Dahal, chief of the programme, the extension to the previous deadline of April 13 was made to gather more data on unemployed population and to provide them more time to sign up for the programme.

“This is the first year of the programme. We want to make sure that we have maximum number of registrations which will also provide us the data for planning and executing the scheme on the ground in the next fiscal year,” Dahal told the Post. “If people don’t register in maximum numbers then what is the use of the whole scheme?”

Enrolment under the programme had begun on March 15 at the ward level of all 753 local units. Jobless citizens, belonging to the age-group of 15-59, can apply by filling up the unemployment form available at their ward offices.

The details of unemployed people collected by the ward offices will be forwarded to the Employment Service Centre set up in all local units. The centre will then investigate the applications before compiling the details of unemployed population.

The scheme has had mixed reactions from the people, according to the ministry.

“The popularity of the scheme has been varied. Those local units which were actively engaged in promoting the scheme and encouraging public to join the scheme have got impressive response,” said Dahal.

Nearly 18,000 people have applied for the scheme at a local unit in Dhanusha district. In some local units, there has been confusion among the residents regarding the scheme’s objective.  

“People in some places have interpreted the programme as a general sustenance allowance scheme for the unemployed. They are registering themselves hoping to get financial support from the state,” Dahal said.

Under the programme, the government has announced to provide sustenance allowance if it fails to provide a minimum 100-day of wage employment to the enrolled citizens. The sustenance allowance will be equivalent to half of the salary fixed for a period of 100 days, and only those persons who come from families where everyone is jobless will be entitled to the allowance.

The possibility of registered population getting 100 days of job is low with only three months remaining for this current fiscal year to end.

The unemployed population will also not be getting the sustenance allowance this year, according to Dahal.

Although Nepal had secured the top spot in job creation in South Asia, with employment rate hovering around 68 percent, as per the 2018 World Bank report, the country still battles with unemployment.

According to the report, 32 percent of the country’s working-age population-are either jobless or voluntarily inactive. The country needs to create at least 286,900 jobs per year to keep this rate intact.

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Published: 23-04-2019 08:33

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