By Modnath Dhakal Kathmandu, Nov. 22: The government has started to collect data about unemployment in the local bodies across the country. Issuing a notice to all rural municipalities and municipalities on Friday, the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration (MoFAGA) has asked them to collect the data regarding the unemployment situation in their respective areas. The local bodies are requested to collect the details of the returnee migrants who lost their jobs in foreign countries due to COVID-19 pandemic and the unemployed people aged between 18 to 59 years. Each local government should collect the name, educational qualification, age, contact details acquired skills and training, and the country of employment of the returnee migrants. Reason of return – loss of job or completion of education - should also be recorded in detail, said the MoFAGA. In terms of the unemployed people, details including their name, age, educational qualification, number of members in the family and acquired expertise, training and skill should be collected. The Ministry has also asked to record the information about the disability, if any. According to the Federal Affairs Ministry, the local bodies should obtain information about the unemployed people from the Crisis Management Information System and Employment Management Information System as much as possible. “In case of new or unrecorded data, the local governments should create a google sheet of the statistics and submit to the system through Provincial Programme Implementation Unit under the
Provincial and Local Governance Support Programme (PLGSP),” said the ministry in the notice. The government had decided to study the prospect of reemployment in the country on November 9, and the MoFAGA had already asked the local bodies to begin the work for information collection on November 13. Local governments are requested to submit the details of unemployment in their territory within a week. The PLGSP is coordinating and facilitating the information collection activities. According to an International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimate, about 2.5 million jobs are needed if the pandemic continues to affect jobs at home and abroad. Considering 3.4 million people were employed in about a million enterprises across the country, this would be a disastrous situation during the difficult times. A study conducted by the Nepal Rastra Bank in August this year had found that about 22 per cent people employed in industry and service sector had lost their jobs due to COVID-19. Micro, small and medium enterprises are the most affected sectors. Likewise, tens of thousands of Nepalis lost their jobs in foreign lands and more than 150,000 have returned home. In response to address the situation, the government, in the budget of current fiscal year 2020/21, had announced to create about 700,000 new jobs through the Prime Minister’s Employment Programme, Youth and Small Entrepreneur Self-Employment Fund, technical, vocational and skill-development training, as well as agriculture and forest-based industries and MSMEs.