KATHMANDU, Jan 27: Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) managed to spend only around Rs 2.5 million out of Rs 10 million allocated to in the previous fiscal year under Prime Minister Employment Program (PMEP) – an ambitious program that aims to create jobs for unemployed people.
The program, which was launched in February last year, guarantees jobs for at least 100 days in a fiscal year to unemployed people. Each local unit was provided up to Rs 10 million in FY2018/19. However, most of them failed to spend the allocated sum, indicating that the program was not becoming effective. The government had earmarked over Rs 3.10 billion for this program and each local government were provided with up to Rs 10 million to run employment generation programs.
Bharat Kumar Oli, coordinator of Employment Service Centre at the KMC, said the metropolitan city could not implement the program as expected due to slow response from its ward offices. "Few ward offices were found to have gone to the people to receive the applications,” he added.
According to Oli, the selected individuals were offered jobs in sectors like construction, and maintenance and repair.
“The slow progress in implementation of the program could be due to slow pace of development works in the Kathmandu Valley," Oli said, adding: "Many people were found to be applying at the local units to receive livelihood allowance, rather than doing works provided by the government."
KMC had received applications from 323 people for the program in FY2018/19. Of them 74 people were employed for at least 100 days.
Under PMEP, the government also provides unemployed individuals with vocational and skill-orientated trainings along with employment-related information. The unemployed people in age bracket of 18 to 59 years are eligible for the program.
According to KMC officials, the government has fixed-wage of Rs 700 per worker per day in Kathmandu Valley and Rs 517 per worker per day in other parts of the country. Based on the work provision for 100 days, an individual could earn Rs 56,000-70,000 for the prescribed period.
Oli said they have received applications ranging from unskilled individuals to university graduates for the program in this fiscal year. It targets to provide jobs to 500,000 unemployed people in the current fiscal year.