NPC sets ambitious target of reducing Nepal’s unemployment to one-third in next six years

Published On: July 7, 2023 08:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Low economic growth, slow capital expenditure, sluggish agricultural growth, low investment and declining state’s financial resources have raised questions on meeting the NPC’s target

KATHMANDU, July 7: The government has set an ambitious target of reducing the country’s unemployment rate to one-third in the next six years.

According to the National Planning Commission (NPC), there are 900,000 jobless people in the country. The NPC has aimed to reduce the number to 300,000 by 2029. It means the government targets to provide jobs to 600,000 people at present along with the newly emerged manpower in the next six years.

Experts said that with no concrete plan to generate the notable number of employment opportunities in the country, the government’s ambitious target is just a populist one.

The NPC says it has forwarded the work to devise a plan to develop human resources for this purpose. A direction committee led by the NPC member Ramesh Poudel has recently finalized its study report on the human development plan.

Representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Federal Affairs, various universities, private sector schools and the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry are among the members of the study committee. The report has come up with the details on the current status of Nepal’s human resource, employed and unemployed people and possible creation of employment opportunities inside the country.

According to Poudel, the detailed report has recommended to the authorities concerned to generate skilled employment opportunities. For this purpose, the report has identified 14 working areas. “After the report is finalized by adding the experts' advice, we will take it to implementation through coordination among the agencies concerned,” he said.

The irony of the NPC’s target is that the country is now reeling under slow economic growth while the private sector has lost confidence. As government revenue collection is well below target, the government has cut off the budget for even the major projects. Similarly, the inflow of foreign direct investment is also not encouraging. 

Likewise, the agricultural sector that is giving jobs to a larger number of people is expected to grow only 2.6 percent during 2023-2025, according to the Nepal Development Update of the World Bank dated April 2023.

As the government body announced its ambitious target, around 2,044 individuals are leaving the country daily seeking jobs abroad. In the first 11 months of the current fiscal year, 740,000 individuals received government permits for foreign employment, while the figure is expected to cross 800,000 by the end of this fiscal year.   

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