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Plan to replace foreign workers with Nepalis in various sectors is easier said than done

The Kathmandu Post, Nepal, 10 September 2020 - Just before the lockdown began in the third week of March to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Umesh Prasad Singh had more than 400 Indian seasonal workers at his two brick factories at Tarapatti Sirsiya, Dhanusha. He had employed 300 Nepali workers as well.

His brick factories have remained shut since the nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 24. Although the lockdown was lifted on July 21, his factories have failed to resume operations, as most of the workers who had returned home have not come back.

“I am waiting for them to come back,” Singh said. “Most Nepalis do not want to work at a brick factory.”

Singh, who is also the acting president of the Federation of Nepalese Cottage and Small Industries, employs Indian workers at his dairy and hosiery factory as well.

While factories like Singh’s are falling short of hands, Nepalis in hordes are heading for India to work.

Though the Nepal government has been saying it aims to have Nepalis work in enterprises deserted by foreign workers, it has not formulated any strategy yet.

Bharatmani Pandey, spokesperson for the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, said there is a general policy to ensure that more Nepalis are employed instead of foreign workers but no specific strategy has been made yet.

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Source: https://kathmandupost.com/national/2020/09/10/plan-to-replace-foreign-workers-with-nepalis-in-various-sectors-is-easier-said-than-done

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