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Nepal likely to discontinue ‘free visa, free ticket’ provision for outbound migrant workers

Labour and Employment Minister Krishna Kumar Shrestha 'Kisan'
Labour and Employment Minister Krishna Kumar Shrestha ‘Kisan’

Kathmandu, November 25

The government is preparing to discontinue the ‘free visa, free ticket’ provision introduced for outbound migrant workers, sources in the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security reveal.

Minister Krishna Kumar Shrestha ‘Kisan’ says the government is “reviewing” the provision as it could not be implemented effectively for the benefits of the migrant workers but the government already lost millions of rupees in revenues that it could have collected if the provision had not been introduced.

The ministry’s spokesperson Dandu Raj Ghimire says the ministry is currently discussing the provision so as to make a decision.

“The ministry has not reached a final decision whether to review the policy or adopt a new one. But, the minister and the secretary have been leading the discussion,” Ghimire says, “The ministry will move ahead considering the suggestions from stakeholders.”

The government in July 2015 had introduced the provision, according to which the workers were not required to pay a penny for their visa and flight tickets to go to seven major labour destinations. However, the provision did not get effectively thanks to the government’s apathy towards monitoring.

After that, a government-commissioned task force had recommended the provision’s expansion to all labour destinations of Nepali migrant workers. The government has not taken any initiative to implement that.

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