Rs 200 billion in investment will be needed to generate employment to 3.4 million Nepalis who have lost their jobs in home and abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic-induced crisis, a study commissioned by the government has found. According to the study report prepared by a taskforce formed under the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS), new employment opportunities can be created through 12 currently operational and proposed jobs and entrepreneurship projects. Among the projects proposed by the taskforce, Migrant Workers’ Employment Generation and Livelihood Improvement Project and Level-oriented Entrepreneurship Development Programme are the new projects suggested by the taskforce.
Besides the projects that are being operated through different ministries and government agencies, operating industrial villages and special economic zones (SEZs) and increasing investment can create 3.394 million new jobs throughout the country, according to the report.
The taskforce formed under the coordination of Puspa Raj Shahi, head of Industrial and Investment Promotion Division at MoICS has recommended to start five projects immediately to lower the employment related challenge posed by the imminent return of hundreds of thousand of Nepali migrant workers and high number of domestic job losses. “The projects to provide jobs to the unemployed can be included in the Federal Budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2020/21,” the report suggested.
According to the report, increasing investments in programmes such as Micro-Entrepreneurship Development Programme (MEDEP), Rural Enterprises and Remittances Project (Samriddhi), Agriculture-based Comprehensive Self-employment Project, Migrant Workers’ Employment Generation and Livelihood Improvement Project and Level-oriented Entrepreneurship Development Programme will enable 2.16 million people to get jobs from the upcoming fiscal year. Among the projects, 2 million people can get employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in Agriculture-based Comprehensive Self-employment Project, the report said. In the report, the taskforce has also recommended consolidation of Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Project and other employment generation programmes. Similarly, it has suggested linking agri-business and entrepreneurship by bringing different funds to enable people to access seed capital for starting business.