PABSON pledges to rope in member schools to SSF fold

Published On: August 24, 2019 08:27 AM NPT By: Republica

KATHMANDU, Aug 24: Private and Boarding School’s Organization Nepal (PABSON) has expressed commitment to bring in its member schools in the newly introduced contributory-based social security fund (SSF) scheme.

Following a meeting with the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security on Friday, office bearers of the PABSON said that the umbrella organization of Nepal’s private and boarding schools will help in enrolling staff and teachers employed by its members in the SSF scheme.

There are over 6,300 private and boarding schools across the country affiliated with the PABSON. They employ nearly 125,000 teachers and other staff combined, according to the PABSON.

Rajendra Baniya, PABSON’s senior vice president, said that they were willing to participate in the SSF scheme. “The PABSON has endorsed the SSF scheme, which is a historic milestone in the social security system of the country. There should not be any doubt about the intention of our participation in the scheme,” he said.

The statement of PABSON’s senior vice president comes in the wake of low turnout of companies and organizations in the SSF scheme, which was unveiled by Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli last year amid much fanfare.

Only 4,000 companies have signed up for the mandatory scheme so far, according to the data of the fund. The number of companies listed one month before the deadline is very low, compared to nearly a million companies and organizations registered with the government. 

According to the National Economic Census, 2018, there are 922,445 establishments (firms and organizations) across the country where 3.41 million people are engaged.

Baniya said that all schools will enroll in the SSF scheme within the deadline set by the government for the listing of the employers.

The ministry has provided a deadline of October 17 for all companies and employers to list themselves for SSF.

However, it will take some time for many schools to start depositing the contributory funds of their employees in the SSF, according to Baniya.

While pledging to address any policy and procedural obstacle that employers face during the listing, Labour, Employment and Social Security Minister Gokarna Bista urged all companies and organizations to register themselves in the SSF scheme within the deadline.

“Let’s go for the listing in the fund now. If any issue or problem arises during the implementation of the SSF, the government is ready to address it,” he said.

Minister Bista also said that the government amended the Working Procedure for the Operation of Social Security Fund to attract as many employers as possible.

The meeting with the PABSON was also a part of the government efforts to rope in as many employers in the SSF scheme. According to the ministry, it is holding similar meeting with the Hotel Association Nepal (HAN). It is also planning to organize meetings with Higher Institutions and Secondary Schools’ Association Nepal (HISSAN) and Institutional School Teachers’ Union (ISTU) to urge them bring their member firms in the SSF scheme.

The ministry has said that the organizations and firms not listing themselves in the SSF scheme by mid-October will have to bear all liabilities related to social security benefits of their employees.

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