Focus On Job Creation


Nepal has been reeling from various economic troubles ranging from inflation to unemployment and trade deficit to low revenue collections. These problems stem from structural deficiencies. In the absence of import-substitution industries, the country is overly reliant on imported goods. The dependency on agriculture products speaks volumes on the precarious situation of economic health. Remittance that contributes to around 24 per cent of total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been the lifeline of national economy. The world has increasingly become interdependent due to the fast pace of globalisation but Nepal’s economy has not been integrated to the global financial system as it has not been able to produce and trade the merchandises of comparative advantage. This shows we have lagged behind in benefitting from the free trade spurred by the dismantling of tariff barriers.

Nepal has been endowed with abundant natural resources that hold potential to bring about economic transformation.  The Himalayan nation also boasts of active and dynamic population.   About 63.7 per cent of the total population is below the age of 30. However, the unemployment rate for youth aged 15-29 is 19.2 per cent, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Over 400,000 young people enter the labour market annually but in the absence of employment opportunity, they are forced to fly abroad for better job prospect. 

While job opportunities in the formal sector are far and few between, employment in informal segments has low productivity and earnings with poor working conditions. Those working in foreign countries are least protected in terms of facilities in line with the ILO standards. Nepal’s constitution has guaranteed the rights to work but flagging economy hardly substantiates to realise this basic rights of the citizens.

Creating job for youths should be in priority of the government. Our economic policy should be geared towards this direction. Against this backdrop, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda Tuesday instructed newly appointed members of the National Planning Commission (NPC) to devise new programmes to increase production and employment in the country. As a think tank of the government, the NPC has an important role in formulating pragmatic and effective policy. Its plans should be result-oriented and fact-based. It requires facilitating the implementation of planning, study-research and development of construction projects.

The NPC is now working to finalise the 16th plan that aims to achieve good governance at political, administrative, judicial, private and non-government fronts and social justice in health, education, employment, housing and other areas. It is necessary to plan development projects based on necessity of the people, which can also be implemented without delay. The NPC should be able to exercise autonomy in selecting the projects without coming under the political pressure. Nepal is in the dire need of building self-reliant economy that enables to defends its national sovereignty and execute the independent foreign policy. At the same time, it is essential to align the 16th periodic plan with the sustainable development goals (SDGs) so that the country meets the SDG targets within the given timeframe. Our plans and projects must focus on production and employment so that poor Nepalis are lifted out of abject poverty and live a life of dignity.

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