KATHMANDU, August 13: Employment in South Korea, which has been suspended for nearly a year and a half, will take some time to resume. According to the Department of Foreign Employment, it will take time for the resumption of the employment due to the failure of the government to manage direct flights as per the conditions set by South Korea.
Director General of the Department Krishna Prasad Dawadi said that since there was an increase in COVID cases in Nepal the Korean government has proposed operating direct flights from Kathmandu. However, the fare for the direct flights has yet to be determined.
Earlier, transit passengers from Kathmandu to Korea used to pay USD 392 per person, but the airline companies have demanded more than that for operating direct flights. Dawadi said that the Committee on Government Assurance of the National Assembly had instructed to make arrangements for direct flights without any additional financial burden to the workers travelling to Korea.
More than 10,000 workers have not been able to go to Korea for a long time even after passing through the language test. According to the officials at the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security, the Korean government has stopped recruiting Nepali workers as Nepal saw the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic.
"Initially, the Nepali side stopped sending people who passed the language test saying that the COVID pandemic had spread in Korea," said a ministry official. "Recently, Korea has been delaying hiring workers from Nepal because of the pandemic."
However, people applying for jobs in Korea have said that the government has delayed the process. "We are thinking about how to send the workers to Korea after the directive of the parliamentary committee," said Director General Dawadi. “We are in the process of inviting a tender for aircrafts willing to carry the workers to Korea. Therefore, it seems that it will take some time to resume the process of sending workers to Korea.”
Those who have passed the language test claim that they can succeed if they work a little harder. "Korean employers are willing to take those who have passed the language test," said Sagar Prasai, who passed the language test. "If the government is serious, Korean employment will resume soon."
They have complained that the government is causing a huge financial loss as they have not been able to go to Korea for a long time after passing the language test. In Korea, the minimum monthly wage is Rs 190,000. As most of them get overtime facility, the monthly income is said to reach up to Rs 300,000. There was a plan to employ about 7,000 Nepali nationals in Korea in 2020.