Rajendra Bhandari, president of the Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies, on Thursday said that the government’s ‘free-visa-free-ticket’ policy was not practical.
Speaking at the Kantipur Media Group’s ‘Employment, Migration, and Remit Summit 2024’ Bhandari said that the government had been making ‘populist’ promises which were not practical.
“The government only went on making ‘populist’ promises, and not realistic decisions,” Bhandari said. “Our government isn’t the one to enforce the free-visa-free-ticket policy, in fact the governments of the destination countries should be the ones to make such a decision.”
Bhandari accused the government of adopting a wrong policy of barring private organisations from collecting fees to send labours abroad while continuing to collect money itself for the same.
“The government itself collects around Rs100,000 per person while sending workers to Korea, but asks private organisations to do the same for zero cost. That is not possible,” Bhandari said.
The NAFEA president added that the ‘zero cost’ provision was only possible in cases of multinational companies as such companies believe in ethical recruitment policy and provide funds for the workers, adding that the government must allow private companies to determine the rates based on the service.
Citing the increasing cases of human trafficking using visit visas, Bhandari claimed that it was wrong to blame the manpower agencies for the crime.
“We will take responsibility if the people we sent face problems while abroad. However, we cannot be responsible for those who get trafficked,” Bhandari said.
Bhandari also proposed that a minimum ‘service charge’ be levied to avoid frauds that the workers may be subjected to, and to make the employment companies more reliable.
“We have proposed that the first month salary received by the worker be paid as service charge. But the policy isn’t clear yet,” Bhandari said.
Published on: 9 February 2024 | The Kathmandu Post