Recruiting agencies continue strike; govt not to back downThe frontline services of the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) remained closed on Tuesday as well due to the indefinite strike called by the foreign employment recruiting agencies.
The Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies (Nafea) is on strike since July 8 to protest the government decision to waive the visa fee and airfare for workers going to the Gulf countries and Malaysia. Around 2,000 overseas job aspirants are affected daily as a result of the strike, officials at the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) said.
The department has issued work approval to 541 people through organisational channel from July 8 to July 13. The number does not include those going abroad for employment through individual channel.
Though the DoFE is running the services for workers applying for overseas jobs through individual channel, very few visit the department these days due to the protest rumour, said one official.
According to the new regulation, workers going to seven countries—- Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait—-will only have to pay a maximum of Rs 10,000 in service charge to the recruiting agencies. Earlier, they were being charged exorbitant fees by the recruiting agencies, though the government had fix Rs 70,000 as maximum charge to go to the Gulf countries and Rs 80,000 to go to Malaysia for employment. Some 3.5 million Nepali migrant workers are employed in these countries.
The meeting held between the government side and the recruitment agencies, to resume the foreign employment services ended inconclusively on Tuesday.
Kumud Khanal, Nafea vice chairperson, said his side had presented its 30-point demands to the government side as the precondition to resume the services, but the government talks team, including State Minister for Labour and Employment Tek Bahadur Gurung, left the meeting to participate in the budget speech without clarifying the government’s position on their demands.
“There will be next round of talks on Wednesday. Our protest will continue until the government roll backs its decision,” said Khanal.
Nafea had agreed to for talks after the Patan appellate court on Monday deemed it unnecessary to announce stay order on the provision as sought by the recruiting agencies.
, Minister Gurung had said that the government will stick to its decision, irrespective of the ongoing protest.