PM announces to double insurance cover of migrant workersIn what would bring cheers to the Nepali migrant workers, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Tuesday unveiled an ambitious plan to provide insurance cover to Nepali workers going to India and double the insurance cover for those going to other 110 work destinations.
In what would bring cheers to the Nepali migrant workers, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Tuesday unveiled an ambitious plan to provide insurance cover to Nepali workers going to India and double the insurance cover for those going to other 110 work destinations.
According to the government plan, each migrant workers bound to labour destinations except for India will now have to buy life insurance and general insurance coverage worth Rs 2 million from Jan 28. The announcement was made during a press conference organised at PM’s residence in Baluwatar.
Migrants going to India, who will have to take permission from the concerned district administration office from February 12, can buy the insurance worth up to Rs 1.25 million.
But it would not be easy to execute the plan owing to lack of mechanism to stop the movement of migrant workers to India as hundreds of Nepalis cross the porous southern border everyday in search of job opportunities.
While unveiling the plan, PM Dahal said the plan is aimed at providing better social security schemes to migrant workers, more importantly to the families of those killed and injured in their work destinations.
The decision, if enforced, could benefit more than 5 million Nepalis working in more than 110 work destinations recognised by the government.
Though PM Dahal spend more than an hour in justifying the rationale behind the decision, he failed to explain how his government plans to expand the reach of insurance cover to workers going to India when it even lacks proper documentation of Nepalis crossing the porous border for work.
“The plan is to make it binding for workers to obtain work approval from the concerned District Administration Office. But it’s going to be very difficult to implement it as anyone can freely cross the open border,” said an official at the Ministry of Labour and Employment. Officials said it might be extremely hard to persuade workers to buy insurance package due to bureaucratic hassle and cost factor.
“A majority of the people go India because they cannot afford to pay to go to the Gulf or Malaysia. Each worker will at least need Rs 20,000 to follow the due process,” said the official.
PM Dahal also did not explain how the government would facilitate the migrant currently working abroad to pay the additional premium that would be required to benefit from the new package.
The workers are required to pay almost 50 percent more in premium though the exact amount of the premium remains unknown. The insurance companies currently charge RS 2,066 to Rs 15,660 in premium from workers depending on the stay, age, and gender of the workers.
“The government will pay the premium on behalf of the needy workers and those currently serving time in detention camp and jail of the labor destinations. It will be done within next three months,” said PM Dahal’s secretariat in a statement.
During the programme, MoLE officials also informed that the ministry is working to increase compensation amount for families of migrants who die abroad.
The kin of deceased migrants will be entitled to Rs 700,000 as relief from the Migrant Workers' Welfare Fund. The Foreign Employment Promotion Board, the patron of the fund, pay Rs 300,000 to the families of the deceased migrant. Similarly, the injured migrants would also be entitled up to Rs 700,000 depending on the severity of injuries after the new rule comes into effect in the next 45 days.