Airfare for Employment Permit System workers down by 21%

Published On: August 7, 2018 07:51 AM NPT

KATHMANDU, Aug 7: Workers going for employment to South Korea under the Employment Permit System (EPS) will now have to pay Rs 12,980 less for airfare. 

According to the EPS Korea Section of the Department of Foreign Employment, workers flying to South Korea under the system will now have to pay US$ 411 (Rs 45,292) for the airfare, down from $529.75 (Rs 58,272) fixed earlier. Issuing a statement on Monday, the EPS Korea Section said that the reduction of the airfare by nearly 23 percent comes following the bidding among travel agency to supply the service for providing air ticket to South Korea-bound workers. 

The lower airfare will reduce the cost for the workers going for employment to South Korea. Nearly 8,000 Nepali workers have been going to South Korea annually under the EPS that started in 2008. Over 54,000 Nepali workers have gone to the employment in South Korea. 

The EPS Korea Section estimates that the reduction in the airfare will save nearly Rs 100 million for workers annually.

Krishna Prasad Khanal, director of EPS Korea Section, said that the reduction in the airfare lowers the cost for workers going to South Korea. According to Khanal, the government selects the travel agency for the workers to purchase air ticket to South Korea. 

Along with the previous airfare, it used to cost workers nearly $930 to go to South Korea under the EPS. This cost includes $529.75 airfare as well as other charges like medical test, visa fee and passport fee, among others.

“The e-bidding for selecting travel agencies to provide air ticket to workers was conducted as part of the government efforts to reduce the cost for workers,” said Khanal. 

South Korea has been one of the lucrative destinations for Nepali workers as the recruiting and employment process are administered and operated under the government to government agreement, leaving a little room for them to be exploited by private recruiting firms.

South Korean ambassador to Nepal, Park Youngsik, on Monday called on Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security, Gokarna Bista. 

During the meeting, Minister Bista requested Ambassador Youngsik to increase the quota of Nepali workers under the EPS, according to a statement issued by the ministry. 

Stating that South Korea is one of the top choices for Nepali workers for employment, he also expressed commitment that the ministry will coordinate with other stakeholders to enhance the language and skills of the workers heading for employment to South Korea. 

Response to Minister Bista, ambassador Youngsik said that he will make efforts to increase the number of workers received by South Korea as well as take them in service sector for employment.


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