Wednesday, July 26, 2006

New Foreign Employment Law On Anvil

With a view to streamline the foreign employment sector, the government is all set to bring a new Foreign Employment Law in the parliament soon.

"A draft Bill has already been prepared and once the Foreign Employment Advisory Board at the ministry of labour and transport management endorses it, we will table it in the House," disclosed Ramesh Lekhak, state minister for labour and transport management, on Tuesday.

According to him, the new law has proposed structural and institutional overhauling of the labour and foreign employment sectors, dismantling the existing department of labour and employment promotion into two separate entities department of foreign employment and department of labour.

"A separate department has been envisaged to ensure prompt and efficient delivery of services for both domestic labour and foreign employment issues," Lekhak added, "The government has felt the need for timely and relevant legal and institutional framework to promote employment more effectively."

To check increased cases of cheatings and charging of exorbitant amounts from aspirant job seekers, he said, the new law proposes to set up an independent tribunal, which will be authorised to deal with all cases related to cheating, fake documents and legal issues involved with foreign employment.

Lekhak further said that the proposed law will annul all restrictive provisions of the existing Foreign Employment Act 2042, making it open and free to all. "A high level Foreign Employment Promotion Board has been envisaged in order to make foreign employment sector more transparent, competitive and broad," he informed.

The board will comprise of senior government officials from line ministries, experts, private entrepreneurs and other concerned stakeholders and will work as a think-tank as well as policy advisor of the government.

The law will be gender friendly and all the discriminatory measures will be scrapped, ensuring equal opportunities for both men and women. While doing so, priorities will be given to Dalits, marginalised community and women, Lekhak said.

He further said that the new law would be promotional rather than traditional and restrictive, while measures will be taken to make manpower agencies more accountable, responsible and transparent.

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