KATHMANDU, DEC 17 -
Fraudulent activities by foreign employment agencies have increased this year in the absence of effective monitoring by the government. In the first four months of the current fiscal year, 222 cases of cheating have been filed at the department against various agencies by victims demanding compensation of Rs 124.57 million.
“The department has been issuing permits to about 800 individuals to leave the country for foreign employment on a daily basis,” said Purna Chandra Bhattarai, director general of the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE). “And with our limited workforce, it has not been possible to conduct effective monitoring.” With the rise of fraud cases and involvement of non-qualified people in the sector, the Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies has demanded that the government regulate the sector effectively with stricter inspection.
“The government must carry out monitoring and maintain profiles of each agency on its website with the name, address, contact number and photo of the company’s owner,” said Kumud Khanal, general secretary of the association.
One of the biggest examples of cheating of aspirants is the recent case in the capital in which proprietor of Well International Manpower Bimala Lama fled with Rs 130 million collected from over 600 job aspirants. She had collected Rs 75,000 to Rs 300,000 from each individual assuring them jobs in Poland. Likewise, there have been reports of hundreds of workers leaving illegally each day via India with the help of middlemen.
“We have been informed that a huge number of Nepali workers have been leaving from New Delhi to the Gulf countries after the festive season following the government’s strict implementation of the provision requiring permission for re-entry to labour destinations,” said Sthaneshwor Devkota, executive director of the Foreign Employment Promotion Board.
The new provision of obtaining approval from the department for re-entry had been designed to curb the trend of leaving the country with outdated contracts and to guarantee insurance and compensation in case of death or accident at the workplace. However, many workers including those having genuine employment contracts have been leaving from Delhi complaining that the government proviso entailed lengthy paperwork.
The DoFE had planned to start on-site monitoring of recruiting agencies in response to an increasing number of complaints by job seekers of unscrupulous practices, but it has not happened.
According to the department, it had asked for 35 officials from its line agency the Ministry of Labour and Transport Management to augment its workforce. However, the ministry has not responded to its request so far.
Posted on: 2011-12-17 10:21