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With swelled budget PMEP to employ 200,000 persons next year



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By Laxman Kafle
Kathmandu, June 3: The government has allocated more than double the previous year’s budget to the Prime Minister Employment Programme (PMEP) for the upcoming fiscal year 2020/21.
The government has allocated Rs. 11.6 billion to mobilise the unemployed youth in development and construction activities running in all 753 local levels for next fiscal year.
With the objective of providing job of minimum 100 working days to at least 200,000 unemployed youth, the government has increased the budget under the employment programme.
The government had allocated Rs. 5.1 billion to the PMEP for the current fiscal year. The government has been increasing budget for the PMEP continuously from its introduction in the fiscal year 2018/19.
The programme was lunched to create more employment opportunities within the country in order to gradually develop such a situation so that no Nepali youth has to go overseas seeking employment. The government had allocated Rs. 3.1 billion in the first year of the programme.
As the PMEP is being implemented in all 753 local levels, the government plans to mobilise jobless youth under this programme through the local levels in the development works.
“It is possible to give jobs to at least 200,000 unemployed youth registered at the local employment service centres with minimum 100 working days in the next fiscal year as all infrastructure and policy and programmes under the programme have already been established,” said Lok Nath Bhusal, Under Secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security.
According to him, the programme would ensure basic employment opportunities for the jobless.
“The government will incorporate all those who have lost their jobs due to the prolonged lockdown caused by COVD-19 under this flagship employment generation programme,” Bhusal said.
The ministry is planning to open registration for the unemployed people to enlist their names at the PMEP. The migrant workers who had returned home can also register their name.
“The local levels will provide jobs based on their needs and their financial status as the objective of the programme is to support livelihood of the poor and needy people,” he said.
According to him, a person who gets an opportunity to work at least 100 working days under the programme will draw around Rs. 60,000-65,000 a year, as daily wage rate varies according to local levels.
He expressed his hope that the programme would achieve the target in the coming fiscal year as all the institutional arrangements and the legal provisions had been in place to implement the scheme.
“Effective implementation of any programme naturally takes time . The PMEP is just running in the second year in the current fiscal year. So, it has so many things to offer to the unemployed and poor people,” Bhusal said.
Under this programme, only around 188,000 unemployed people got employment for around 13-14 working days in the last fiscal year. Out of total budget allocation for the last fiscal year, local levels spent only of Rs. 1.37 billion.
Likewise, the ministry has expected that around 300,000-400,000 unemployed people listed at the PMEP will get job for around 25 working days even in the current fiscal year. The prolonged nationwide lockdown affected the target of providing jobs of 100 working days this year, he said.
The ministry had released Rs. 2.3 billion for all 753 local levels to implement the programme for the current fiscal year. About 1.2 million unemployed people had registered their names at the local levels demanding job. But only 300,000 people were listed at the Employment Management Information System.