KATHMANDU, Oct 26: The Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) is mulling over the plan of studying financial health of companies in Saudi Arabia before sending workers there.
The department has started discussing the issue with concerned stakeholders including manpower agencies to this effect, according to Rama Bhattarai, spokesperson at the department.
“We have invited representatives from manpower agencies to the department on coming Thursday to formally discuss on the issue.”
The department initiated the process as more complaints related to exploitation and abuse as well as poor living condition and insufficient food to migrant workers in Saudi Arabia have soared in the recent times, according to Bhattarai.
“Migrant workers have already started witnessing the direct impact of economic crisis in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. Hence, we initiated this process of studying financial health of companies before sending our laborers there.”
Economic crisis there, however, does not mean that all companies in the Saudi have suffered from bad financial health or bankruptcy, she said. “Some big companies are still doing better and they can provide promised jobs to the migrant workers. Many companies in Saudi are in good financial health and it is not required to ban migrant workers from going there. That's why the department is in favor of screening the status of companies instead of completely banning Saudi Arabia as aspiring migrants' destination.”
According to her, the department will update the situation to the ministry after consultation with manpower agencies.
Saudi Arabia has been one of the major recipient countries of Nepali migrant workers over the past decade. Currently, more than 360,000 Nepali migrant workers are working in Saudi Arabia, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
A total of 766,039 Nepalis left for Saudi Arabia in the last 10 years, according to data maintained by the department.