PM Employment Program: 841,000 seek employment, only 15,000 get it

Published On: April 5, 2023 03:30 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 4: Even in the current fiscal year 2079/80 BS, a large chunk of the Prime Minister Employment Program budget will be spent during the rainy season. With just three and a half months to go before the end of the current fiscal year, a budget of six billion and 4.4 million rupees remains to be spent.

The program, which has a budget of Rs 7 billion, has spent only Rs 680 million in this fiscal year so far. This expenditure is only 9.36 percent of the total budget.

It is seen that it will be difficult to achieve the targeted achievements of the program due to lack of timely budget expenditure.

According to the data available on the Prime Minister Employment Program website, programs and plans worth Rs 5.95 billion have already been approved for this year. As per this, Rs 5.31 billion is expected to be spent within the next three and a half months.

In the ongoing program with the aim of providing 100 days of employment to a total of 0.2 million population, 15,231 people have been employed for an average of 65 days so far this year. Only 42,000 people have been selected for employment, but it is not certain when they will get work in the project.

For this year, 841,000 people have registered themselves as unemployed at the local employment service center.

So far, 658 out of 753 local levels have approved projects and programs and planned to provide employment.

The Prime Minister's Employment Program, which was introduced for employment, has been criticized from the beginning. Although the government has been reducing the budget in recent years, this program is running through the local level with the aim of providing work for a few days to unemployed citizens from targeted poor families.

Under this program, the local governments have made small projects such as roads, water supply, irrigation, sanitation, etc. and have employed wage workers in such projects. However, since such works are basically conducted during the rainy season, the budget of billions spent on it has not been utilized effectively.

Under secretary of the Prime Minister Employment Program, Guru Datta Subedi, says that despite there being an expenditure, the expenditure seemed to be weak as there is no payment. He claims that since the work started only after the end of the rainy season, the cost of the program will be efficient this year as well.

“Now the work is being done in full swing, 80 percent of the budget will be spent this year as well,” he said, “Budget has not been spent efficiently yet, but now onwards payment and work will go hand in hand.”

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