12 May 2020, Kathmandu
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali has said nobody will face legal complications in foreign land just because of the termination of their visa term. He was referring to the Nepalis who are in abroad employment and engaged in various professions and businesses.
Minister Gyawali shared this information while speaking in the meeting of the Federal Parliament’s Committee on Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation of the Directive Principles, Policies and Obligation of the State on Monday.
He said no problem has been seen anywhere so far regarding the treatment of Nepali nationals abroad who are infected with coronavirus as the countries concerned have been urged to make arrangements for the same level of treatment to Nepalis as was provided their citizens.
The Foreign Affairs Minister said the employment companies themselves have made arrangements for food and accommodation for the Nepali workers and in some instances where the employer has run away, the Non-Resident Nepalis Association, local charity organisations and the Nepali embassy concerned are working together to provide the necessary assistance.
However, this does not means that everything is alright in all places. He reiterated that arrangements have been put in place so that no Nepali citizen will have to face problems in foreign land just for the reason of termination of that person’s visa term.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs reiterated that the government was conscious of the fact that Nepalis should be able to return their homes and that the number of people losing jobs has been increasing due to the COVID-19. He said the government has estimated that the number of Nepalis returning home from abroad due to the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic would be around 588 thousand 700.
This includes about 325,000 people who will be returning home from the Gulf countries and the rest from India. It is said among them, 210 thousand 871 people need to be brought home immediately. “There is challenge regarding determining the priority of those who want to return home and how and where to manage them in quarantine once they are brought home. The government is doing home work in this regard,” the Minister Gyawali said. According to him, 25 thousand of the 35 thousand quarantines set up in the country were occupied.
It is estimated there will be shortage of quarantine facilities if a large number of Nepalis returned home at once. But the government will bring home all the Nepalis, who want to return home by making the adequate arrangements including quarantine. The Minister stated that providing employment to the Nepal-returnees would be another challenge. Fifteen per cent of the total population of the country is outside the country.
As per the information made available by diplomatic missions and bodies, six million 463 thousand 373 Nepalis are involved in various sorts of employment in 109 countries of the world. There are more than 10 thousand Nepalis in 21 various countries. A large number of people abroad is that of workers. The number of Nepalis who are on foreign employment on the basis of labour agreement with 12 countries is one million 211 thousand 924.
The Ministry stated that there is no exact figures regarding the number of Nepalis in different countries working as domestic workers as they have gone through various informal channels. Before this, the lawmakers speaking in the committee meeting suggested the government to make arrangements for immediately bringing the Nepalis back home who are contributing to the national economy through remittance.