Youth leaders applaud Prime Minister Employment ProgrammeLeaders associated with the youth wings of various political parties have lauded the ambitious Prime Minister Employment Programme, which is expected to create thousands of jobs every year.
Leaders associated with the youth wings of various political parties have lauded the ambitious Prime Minister Employment Programme, which is expected to create thousands of jobs every year.
The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, which implements the scheme, has started collecting suggestions from various stakeholders including youth leaders.
At a programme organised to collect views of youth leaders on the upcoming scheme, they commended the effort of the government for creating job opportunities within the country.
Ranjeet Kumar Singh, a youth leader with the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal, termed the job programme as the first of its kind in Nepal where foreign employment has been the last resort for millions of youths.
“Such schemes have been introduced in our neighbouring countries, but never before in Nepal. In the absence of such government efforts, even educated people are migrating abroad and are forced to take up menial jobs,” said Singh, urging the government to create jobs for youths depending on their geographical regions.
The employment programme is aimed at creating a minimum of 100,000 jobs in the country annually.
Through this scheme, the government plans to engage unemployed youths in various sectors like agriculture and animal husbandry, forest and environment, and reconstruction.
The ministry has enlisted a total of 11 sectors, including National Pride Projects, where unemployed youths will be working under the plan. These new jobs will also be generated in coordination with the private sector.
Uttam Chapagain, vice-president of the Nepal Tarun Dal, a youth wing of the Nepali Congress, suggested that the government should equally prioritise vocational training under the programme.
“Unemployed youths should be provided with skill-based training so that even uneducated people can have income opportunities and earn respect for what they do. As an agricultural country, the programme should generate jobs in the farm sector,” said Chapagain.
Youth leaders also raised doubts over implementation of the programme and urged the government to identify work sectors based on the need of the country’s development goals.
Ramesh Poudel, president of the Youth Association Nepal (YAN), aligned with the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN), stressed the need of forming a massive ‘Development Force’ which can contribute to undertaking mega projects in the country.
“Such force should be developed under this programme so that they get to work and contribute to nation-building. Also, various scattered programmes of giving employment to youths should be merged into one,” suggested Poudel.
With this programme, the government aims to create a minimum 100,000 jobs in the first year, leading to 500,000 jobs in the next five years.
“All Nepalis will have pride working under this common programme, which is meant for everyone in the working age. Youth’s skill, energy and enthusiasm will be utilised in the country,” said Labour Minister Gokarna Bista, adding that the programme was introduced to make foreign employment an option—not a compulsion—in the near future.
Minister Bista added that Nepal needs a bigger labour force as the country itself is at an early phase of pursuing development.
Recently, Parliament also passed the Right to Employment Act that requires the government to ensure every Nepali at least 100 days of work annually.
Upon failure to guarantee minimum 100 days of employment, the state has to provide sustenance allowance equal to a half of the salary fixed for a period of 100 days.
The Prime Minister Employment Programme is one of the components guaranteeing citizens the right to employment, according to Loknath Bhushal, an under-secretary at the Labour Ministry. “As a last resort, the government will provide sustenance allowance for unemployed youths,” said Bhushal.