Rs 750 million allocated for free repatriation of stranded migrant workers, only Rs 13.5 million used
September 13, 2021 02:19 PM NPT
By: RUDRA KHADKA
KATHMANDU, Sept 13: Lack of coordination among government agencies concerned has deprived a large number of stranded Nepali migrant workers abroad to avail the fund allocated by the government to repatriate them home with the government’s financial support.
The Foreign Employment Board (FEB) had allocated Rs 750 million after the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security prepared a guideline to rescue and repatriate Nepali migrant workers stranded due to COVID-19 pandemic during foreign employment. Only a small fraction of the budget allocated has been spent for the repatriation of the stranded migrant workers.
Government officials blamed lack of coordination among government agencies as per the directive behind this situation. The FEB and Nepali embassies abroad are accused of avoiding the task of repatriation by showing little interest in utilizing the fund. Officials at the Labor Ministry claimed that there is no problem if attempts are made for effective work.
According to the FEB, out of the Rs 750 million allocated for free rescue of those stranded abroad in the fiscal year 2020/21, only Rs 13.5 million has been spent. According to the FEB, Nepali embassies abroad should demand money for free rescue. “But most embassies have ignored this,” according to the board staff.
The rescue directive was made by the Ministry of Labor after the Supreme Court directed the board to make arrangements for the rescue of those stranded in the course of foreign employment using the funds of the welfare fund in the board.
According to the board, 187 stranded workers have been rescued so far, including 86 from Malaysia, 53 from the United Arab Emirates, 18 from Bahrain and 30 from other countries. The board has stated that additional Rs 197,000 was used while they were kept in holding centers and later sent to their homes after they arrived in Nepal.