Despite labor minister’s decision to reverse action taken against manpower companies, DoFE to check malpractices
February 1, 2021 12:12 PM NPT
By: RUDRA KHADKA
KATHMANDU, Feb 1: It is not a new thing for the manpower companies to charge the youths going for foreign employment more than the prescribed fees. The government has implemented a rule that states that manpower companies are not allowed to charge more than Rs 10,000 to the workers going to the Gulf countries and Malaysia.
But it is rare to find people who get to go for foreign employment after paying only Rs 10,000. Most of the regulatory bodies already know that the unemployed youths are being charged more than the prescribed fee and the government’s decision has not been implemented.
Even though some officials of the regulatory body tried to implement the government’s decision, they complained that the political leadership at the top level was an obstacle to their efforts. Minister for Labor, Employment and Social Security, Gauri Shankar Chaudhary has taken a similar decision to confirm such complaints.
After Minister Chaudhary reversed the action taken by the Department of Foreign Employment against three manpower companies that were found sending large sums of money to the Qatar Government to recruit Nepali youths into the Gulf country’s security forces without getting approval from the Nepal government, doubts of financial embezzlement have arisen. The department had taken action against SOS, DD Human Resource and Hope International for illegally sending Nepali youths to be recruited into Qatar Police.
However, the newly-appointed Minister Chaudhary without concluding the investigation has pardoned the manpower companies whose financial transactions were frozen. The minister did not even inform the secretary of the ministry about the reversal of the decision to take action against the manpower companies. “No discussion took place before the decision was taken,” Toyam Raya, secretary at the ministry, said, “The letter sent by the department reached the minister’s office via a different division.”
The department had informed the ministry that the companies had cheated the unemployed and the manpower companies had requested the ministry to review it. It is mentioned in his decision that Minister Chaudhary gave 'justice' to the manpower companies. Minister Chaudhary himself has signed the decision to reverse the action taken against the manpower companies.
Some experts believe that the purpose of cracking down on manpower companies that raise large sums of money in the name of foreign employment is to prevent fraud, which ultimately benefits the workers. Kumar Prasad Dahal, director general of the department, said that there was no bias in the decision taken by the department, which started the process of taking action against the manpower companies which were extorting millions of rupees to send youths to the security forces of Qatar without the Nepal government’s permission two months ago.
“I trust the decision,” he said, “But I have no say in the ministry’s decision on the appeal.” Officials at the department are discouraged because of such cases. “The ministry and the department are one and the same body,” said an official of the department. “It would be another case if it was the court that had reviewed the decision but in this case it looks like the ministry does not trust its own body.”
According to Secretary Raya, the decision has been taken as there is a provision in the law for the Director General to take a decision and the Government of Nepal to review it.
Experts who are closely monitoring the field of foreign employment said that fraud should be stopped to make the foreign employment sector systematic, dignified and transparent. Experts opine that foreign employment will always be chaotic unless fraud is stopped. Director General Dahal said that the department has given continuity to the monitoring work even after the minister’s decision to reverse the action taken against the manpower companies.