KATHMANDU, Sept 2: The recently formed Special Rapid Action Task Force (SRATF), which is supposed to minimize anomalies in foreign employment by eliminating unethical nexus between officials inside the Tribhuvan International Airport, has drawn flak from foreign employment entrepreneurs.
Amid growing cases of departures of job-seekers without proper documentation, the government had last week formed two high-level committees to curb irregularities.
The government has given sweeping powers to the committees -- Central Coordination Committee (CCC) headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Narayankaji Shrestha and SRATF-led by joint secretary at the home ministry Shankar Koirala - including the authority to take immediate action against unscrupulous manpower agencies.
Kumud Khanal, general secretary of Nepal Association of Foreign Employment (NAFEA) complained that SRATF grossly abused its power by intimidating genuine Nepali overseas job-seekers and manpower agencies.
Khanal also complained that immigration officials have been denying immigration permission to the workers in large groups. “The officials want to continue corruption in one guise or the other,” said Khanal. He said at least 4-5 job aspirants are being returned by immigration officials unlawfully.
“A couple of days back eight workers were returned though they had already acquired boarding passes to fly to Mauritius. We have already apprised the DoFE about the problem. We will be forced to launch stringent protests if officials continue to return job aspirants,” he added.
“I have learnt that workers who have completed necessary process at DoFE for overseas jobs have also been barred from flying to their job destinations. The taskforce should have broken the ´nexus´ without creating terror among jobseekers and recruiting agencies,” one of the member of taskforce told Republica. Around 1,100 workers are leaving for overseas jobs every day.
Suresh Adhikari, director general of Department of Immigration (DoI) said only workers bearing dubious passports and denied been denied immigration.
“We might have created problems for unscrupulous manpower agencies. But we are ready to rectify our actions if we have made genuine workers suffer,” Adhikari told Republica.
He clarified that though Mauritius bound workers were denied permission initially, they were allowed to fly after verifying their passports.