Kathmandu, Sept 28: The government led by Nepal Communist Party (NCP), which enjoys two-thirds majority, is executing its policies and programmes keeping the economic prosperity at the centre.
In this connection, the government is in the process of gradually reducing the foreign employment creating employment opportunities within the country itself and making it more systematic and dignified.
The government has also forwarded some programmes of strategic importance in line with the spirit of the socialism-oriented Constitution of Nepal.
Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security, Gokarna Bista has said the government would create a situation in the coming five years whereby nobody will have to go on foreign employment out of compulsion.
He said this in an interview given to the RSS. The Labour Minister claimed that the social security plan based on contribution initiated by the government is an epochal programme to change the life of the general public and workers.
Making an assessment of his one and half year term as the Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security, he said there were many problems and some complexities in this sector when he assumed office and he had to work hard in terms of bringing them in the system. He added that the government made some earnest efforts towards resolving the problems, systematizing the foreign employment sector and creating employment opportunities especially within the country.
Minister Bista said that during this period the government has prepared the basis for guiding this sector into the future through policy-level, structural and legal reforms.
Regarding some of his decisions coming into controversy despite forwarding overall reform programmes in the labour and employment sector, Minister Bista said this was a worldwide trend that some decisions tend to be dragged into controversy whenever efforts are made to change the status quo situation and bring about change. "New things and change obviously invites debate and sides who are in support and who oppose that. It crates ripples, this is natural."
Asked how he will bring all the workers under the social security plan, the Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security said they initiated the social security plan based on contribution in a new way when the life of the workers was not secure in terms of social security. He described that the social security plan has been started in a way to provide a basis for security in the life of the labourers, to give a feel of change and to make arrangements enabling the general public to lead a humanitarian life. This was new in the context of Nepal and it will have an impact on hundreds of thousands of families and workers. That is why this programme created some ripples. It is a people's programme a pro-people programme designed to change the life of the general public and the labourers. So, we pushed ahead this programme despite the opposition by some elements. That is why we had declared that a new era has begun in Nepal at the time of the inauguration of this programme.
He said it will take some time to be implemented in an effective way and the government was moving ahead to bring all – all the labourers, whether in employment or in self-employement – under its coverage in order to provide a basis to the general public. It will be implemented in an effective manner.
Minister Bista expressed the confidence that all the employers will enlist in the Social Security Fund, reiterating that there was no alternative to doing so as it was compulsory and mandatory under the law.
Talking about the Prime Minister Employment Programme, he said it was a new scheme aimed at promoting employment based on social security and justice as it provided a basis for the unemployed human resources of the working age the basis for livelihood.
The Labour Minister informed that some 7,500 projects were run in 648 local levels under this programme last year. He emphasized that it is the local levels that are responsible for operating the programme and it should be taken forward in a more consolidated manner by preparing solid work procedure and targeting the poor and underprivileged settlements by determining the pocket area.
Asked how the 'ambitious' goal of providing decent and productive employment to 6.8 million people within 2030 would be achieved in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goal, Minister Bista said this goal has to be achieved and the government has committed to create at least 500 thousand more jobs in this year through the joint efforts of the three tiers of governments. Last year nearly 175,000 youths got employment under the Prime Minister Employment Programme albeit short term employment. He said the government is collecting data regarding the number of employment created by the government, non-government and private sector in fiscal year 2018/19.
Talking about linking traditional knowledge and skill with entrepreneurship and self-employment, Labour Minister Bista stressed on the need of protecting the traditional skills and knowledge. He said traditional skills and knowledge are under threat of displacement by the modern technology. He said the state should make provisions for special subsidies, facilities and incentives to attract the youth towards the protection of the traditional skills and knowledge.
The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security is working with a plan to teach new people the traditional skills and knowledge. The Ministry is starting works linking the produced goods with the market.
He reiterated that creating employment opportunities within the country is government's first priority.