Social security scheme to cover Nepali migrant workers, self-employed in foreign lands

Published On: March 22, 2023 08:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, March 22: The social security scheme of Nepal will cover Nepali migrant workers and self-employed Nepalis in foreign lands. The Social Security Fund is preparing to unveil the new scheme to cover Nepali migrant workers and those self-employed in foreign lands amid a function on Wednesday in the presence of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal.

As part of the expansion of the contribution-based scheme, this is expected to benefit around 2.2 million Nepali migrant workers, said the fund's spokesperson Bibek Panthi.

The fund has already endorsed the procedure for covering Nepali workers in the informal sector, foreign employment and self-employment in foreign lands under the scheme in a bid to bring all Nepali workers including migrants under the umbrella of social security, according to Panthi.

Various trade unions have been demanding the inclusion of workers in the informal sector and self-employed under the scheme. The Non-Resident Nepali Association has also been lobbying for the coverage of Nepali migrant workers by the SSF.

Launched three years ago, the scheme has until now covered only Nepali workers in the formal sector.

For this, aspiring Nepali migrant workers seeking a new labor permit have to be registered with the fund. Around 2,000 aspiring migrant workers have been taking labor permits on a daily basis.

As per the  endorsed work procedures, a Nepali migrant worker in foreign employment and self-employed in a foreign land can be eligible for the facilities provided by the fund by contributing 21.33 percent of their basic remuneration or a minimum Rs 2,000 monthly and three fold of it at maximum.

The government has set Rs 15,000 as the minimum remuneration:  Rs 9,385 basic remuneration and a dearness allowance of Rs 5,615 for a worker. Of the 21.33 percent amount contributed under the scheme, 7. 48 percent goes for the accident insurance and for the disability and dependent family protection scheme and 13.85 for pension.

Any migrant worker registered with the Social Security Fund shall be entitled for the three kinds of facilities mentioned above.              

People at foreign jobs shall be eligible to draw Rs 100,000 as accident insurance, 60 percent for pension in case of disability, Rs 25,000 as bereavement expenditures, and there is a provision of 40 percent lifelong pension to dependent spouses.  Any aspiring Nepali migrant shall compulsorily obtain a registration number online from the fund.

At present, the regular contributors to the fund are entitled to various facilities under different headings such as accidental and disability protection scheme, medical and safe maternity scheme, dependent protection scheme and pension and old-age protection scheme.

So far, 399,566 contributors have been contributing to the fund. The contribution-based amount in the fund has reached  Rs 30.87 billion and it has paid Rs 3.81 billion to the contributors.  The SSF has been implemented since November 27, 2018.










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