Labour supply to Malaysia uncertain despite pact

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Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security, Gokarna Bista (left) and Malaysian Minister for Human Resources M Kulasegaran (right) take part in a ministerial level meeting before signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the supply of labour, in Kathmandu, on October 28, 2018. Photo: RSS

Kathmandu, November 2 Though the government has inked the much-hyped labour agreement with Malaysia, it is still uncertain on when migrant workers will be allowed to fly to the Southeast Asian for employment purposes.

Following the labour agreement that the two countries reached on Monday, a technical committee comprising of representatives of both the nations has been formed to devise an effective mechanism to implement the provisions of the labour pact. However, the technical committee has not been given any concrete deadline to accomplish the concerned task, thereby creating uncertainty over the actual time of resumption of labour supply to Malaysia.

“As the committee has been formed, it will determine the implementation mechanism of the agreement,” said Dilip Kumar Chapagain, director general at the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE), adding that labour supply to Malaysia will resume after the committee completes necessary groundwork.

The agreement that was signed between Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security Gokarna Bista and Malaysian Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran states that the employer companies in Malaysia will bear recruitment service charges, two-way airfare, visa fee, health check-up fee, security screening and levy charges, among others. The committee is expected to finalise necessary groundwork, including other legal documents to capitalise on these provisions.

Migration of Nepali workers to Malaysia has been halted since May after the Nepal government cracked down on illegal companies that had been levying additional charges on Nepali migrant workers.

Meanwhile, recruiting agencies in the country have threatened not to supply any workers to Malaysia citing that the government had incorporated various provisions in the labour pact with Malaysia without consulting them. Referring to the government’s decision to form a technical committee after signing the labour pact, Rohan Gurung,
president of Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies, said that the government should have first accomplished necessary groundwork before signing the agreement with Malaysia.

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