Nepalis can soon fly to Oman for jobs with zero investmentNepal has secured ‘zero cost’ jobs for its migrant workers in a major labour destination country in the Gulf region.
Chandan Kumar Mandal
Nepal has secured ‘zero cost’ jobs for its migrant workers in a major labour destination country in the Gulf region.
The understanding—to provide free jobs without any investment of Nepali workers—has become possible with Oman, after officials from both Nepal and Oman on Friday agreed to sign a labour deal soon.
Officials from both countries have long been holding discussions to reach an understanding, the first between them.
Earlier this year, a Nepali delegation had visited Oman to discuss the details of drawing up a new agreement between the two countries.
According to Ram Prasad Ghimire, a joint secretary with the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, after months of negotiations, officials from Nepal and Oman have finalised the understanding.
A three-member team, led by the director general of the Labour Welfare Department under the Ministry of Manpower, and an Oman and Nepali delegation signed the draft agreement in Kathmandu.
“The agreement on the draft of the understanding was reached after two days of discussion in Kathmandu,” Ghimire, who led the Nepali delegation, told the Post. “With this agreement, Nepali workers will have to pay absolutely nothing to land jobs in Oman. All the cost to the fees will be borne by the employer.”
This is the third agreement with a labour destination country in recent times that pledges jobs free of cost for Nepali workers.
Last year in October, Nepal had signed a similar Memorandum of Understanding with Malaysia, the most popular labour destination among Nepali workers. The understanding with Malaysia promised jobs for Nepalis—without any extra payment. Furthermore, the understanding would provide Nepalis immediate reimbursement of initial investment once the workers join the work in Malaysia.
Another labour understanding was reached with the United Arab of Emirates last week in Kathmandu. The draft of the new memorandum of understanding, which scrapped the erstwhile pact inked between both countries in 2007, also guarantees zero investment jobs in the Gulf country for Nepali workers.
“The scheme of Free Visa and Free Ticket for our workers has long been there. But that has been limited to mere slogans. The new deals—including the latest one—guarantee that Nepali workers will not be made to pay any money for jobs in these countries,” added Ghimire.
The latest understanding has also pledged that workers will have free access to justice if there is any legal case in the court. Workers will have the right to seek alternative employers, in case any problem with their main employer arises.
The draft agreement has clearly stated responsibilities of Omani employers like timely payment, medical expenses from hospital to medications, insurance, visa fees, airfare, medical checkup and safety of workers from accidents and occupational diseases.
The Joint Committee consisting of officials from both countries will finalise the mechanisms that will make it clear how the employer will make payments on behalf of workers or how they will be reimbursed for their initial investment.
“The Oman government will ensure that workers are free from any exploitation as well as ensure their rights are well protected. If the workers file any complaint then the government should resolve the matter through effective monitoring,” said Ghimire, who also heads labour relations and the social security division under the Labour Ministry.
Oman currently hosts 15,000-20,000 Nepali workers. Most of them are employed in the cleaning, hospitality and construction sectors. Before signing the agreement at the ministerial level, the Cabinets of both countries will pass the draft pact.