Sudurpaschim Province

Majority of people enrolled under PM’s Employment Programme dissatisfied in Sudurpaschim


Jul 2, 2019-

A majority of people, who have been enrolled under the Prime Minister’s Employment Programme in Sudurpaschim Province, are dissatisfied with the nature of jobs doled out to them. 

Most jobs under the programme include removing weeds from roadsides, cleaning drains, clearing bushes, painting school buildings, collecting garbage, repairing bridges and fixing potholes. Some workers claim that the jobs given to them are “menial” and not in accordance with what was “hinted” at during the launch of the programme.

Kapil KC, a native of Patan Municipality in Baitadi district, said that locals are dissatisfied with the nature of jobs. “The programme has been launched without plans or preparations. This programme is being used as a way to spend the budget before the fiscal year ends,” said KC, adding that the PM’s Employment Programme, although welcomed with much enthusiasm, is now being questioned due to its poor implementation. 

“Is it possible to develop a village just by cleaning it cosmetically? Sweeping roads and removing weeds is not going to help the village chart its way towards development,” said KC, “10 to 15 days of daily wage employment is neither going to push the village towards development nor is it going to help the ‘employees’ have a secure future. What are they going to do after the fifteenth day?”

Mahesh Raj Panta, employment coordinator of Patan Municipality, said that the municipality has employed 284 people under the programme. 

According to him, employees are busy repairing and cleaning roads, foot trails and drains. 

“We have been employed to repair a foot trail,” said Dhanasra Subedi of Mangalsen-5 in Achham district, informing that her local unit has provided them jobs under the programme for 30 days. But now, they are saying that the jobs will last only for 15 days. The local unit is said to provide Rs517 per day to each employee under the programme, she said. 

“We are also searching for jobs in other places. We cannot maintain our daily livelihood if we don’t have any other source of income,” said Premkala Dhungana, a native of Mangalsen, adding that these jobs are only for a limited time. “We had hopes that the programme would provide us with good stable jobs, but this is manual labour. I’m not complaining of the nature of the job but this is not the permanent solution to our unemployment that we were initially promised,” she adds. 

Laxman Shahi, employment coordinator of Mangalsen Municipality, said that they have to end the programme by July 10. Shahi said, “The programme started from mid-June. We have been asked to run the programme only for 25 days but we could not find workers in the first few days because of the geographical remoteness of this area.” 

Initially, the employment scheme had aimed to ensure a minimum 100 days of job in a year to all unemployed population of working age. Under the programme, the government plans to create jobs in infrastructure development, industrial and service sectors.

The country’s 21.6 percent population is still below the poverty line and the youth unemployment rate stands at 35.8 percent. Nearly 4.3 million citizens are abroad as migrant workers

Published: 02-07-2019 08:00

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