KATHMANDU, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Nepali government has decided to allow entry of foreign workers to work in the country's manufacturing industries amid complaints from industrialists about shortage of manpower with certain skills that Nepali workers don't possess.
The Nepali government's spokesperson and Minister for Communication and Information Technology Parbat Gurung said at a press meet on Thursday that the cabinet meeting on Oct. 20 decided to allow entry of workers from India, China and other countries by following necessary procedures as provisioned in the labour law.
"The industry ministry will prepare a working procedure on health protocol to be followed while mobilizing foreign workers in Nepali industries," he said.
The Nepali government does not have exact data about how many foreign workers are there in Nepal as it is not compulsory for Indian workers to take work permits.
But, Shekhar Golchha, senior vice-president of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the apex private sector body of Nepal, told Xinhua on Thursday that there are an estimated 700,000-800,000 foreign workers engaged in various jobs in Nepal.
"A large number of foreigners are employed in Nepal because Nepali workers lack certain skills that foreign workers possess in manufacturing, construction and other sectors," said Golchha.
According to him, a large number of foreign workers, particularly Indians, are involved in spinning mills, steel factories, industries having foreign investment, wielding, plumbing, electrification, jewellery making and brick factories. "Besides India, the number of Chinese workers is also growing along with increasing Chinese investments in Nepal," he said.
According to Nepal's Department of Labour, as many as 16,095 foreigners so far got work permits from the department. In the last fiscal year 2019-20 that ended in mid-July, a total of 1,126 foreigners got new work permits while work permits for 960 foreigners were renewed, according to the department.
Likewise, during the first three months of current fiscal year 2020-21, the Nepali government provided work permits to 302 foreigners while renewing the permits for 499 foreigners. Enditem