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Nepal aims to address all labor issues through ‘Shramadhan’. Here is what you need to know about it.

Sramadhan is a signature project of Labor Minister Dol Prasad Aryal which incorporates plans to address all the issues and concerns of laborers. 

Kathmandu: Nepal’s Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social  Security (MoLESS) has introduced a comprehensive plan to address labor related issues through a single project. The initiative named Shramadhan [in English Solution of Labor Issues] was made public by Dol Prasad Aryal, Minister for Labor, Employment and Social Security on 1 May, 2024. 

In 2019, the government had launched a call center for migrant workers to address labor issues when Gokarna Bista was the minister. In 2023, the ministry renamed the call center as Shramadhan Call Center after Dol Prasad Aryal assumed the office on 17 January 2023 as the minister for the first time. 

In his second tenure as the Minister for Labor, Employment and Social Security, Aryal came up with the idea to develop a comprehensive and practical plan to address all the issues and concerns that might arise during the processes and journeys for labor through one window. 

This landmark initiative of the ministry aims at providing a platform for job seekers and job providers, while also enabling them to explore the labor market and create new opportunities.

Dol Prasad Aryal, Minister for Labor, Employment and Social Security, attaches immense importance to this project.

“We actually want multi-stakeholder engagement in this project. We as the government play the role of coordination and facilitation to create an environment conducive to making employment, both home-based and foreign based, dignified and safe,” said Aryal. 

“We are actually excited to see that this project initiated by the Labor Ministry has been well accepted and welcomed by many. We want to make this project more functioning and take it to the level where the laborers get the maximum possible benefits,” he told The DMN News.

We also want to bring multilateral and bilateral donor communities, private sector, civil society organizations  and other stakeholders on board to implement this project in the most result-oriented way.”

In the first phase of Sramadhan, the project incorporates seven key components: Second innings, Employment bank, Samata (equity), Law, Connect, Saath and Call center. Here are the major components of the project with details of the plans:

Second Innings:  This is the initiative whereby the government facilitates utilization and reactivation of skills, knowledge and resources of those who have been in foreign employment and returned to Nepal, or those who have worked in Nepal and who have been retired from their jobs. Under this scheme, even pensioners can contribute to creating new jobs and  entrepreneurship.

Employment bank: A one window platform for creating a database of job seekers. According to the Ministry, this program provides means and resources to the workers to stay competitive in the labor market and to acquire required skills for the same.

Samata [Equity]: Samata seeks to bring into the mainstream job market those who belong to the most marginalized, unheard and unreached community, and who have thus been marginalized. The idea appears to be to create a level playing field in the labor market. This program also aims to provide special amenities to those who really need them most to ensure equity. 

Law: This addresses the needs of the laborers to understand labor laws, legal implications they need to adhere to and to ensure their labor rights are legally safeguarded while they are on the journey of labor. This program basically educates the laborers on labor laws.

Connect: Connect program aims to bridge the gap, uplift skill, connect with International Global Market and build relevance. Larger goal is to make the Nepali workers competitive in the global labor market. The aim is also to connect the Nepalis going abroad for work, Nepalis working abroad already and NRNs.

Saath [support]:  Saath aims to safeguard the  mental wellbeing of laborers while also ensuring work life balance. As the title suggests, it is about ensuring the workers that the government is there with them all the time.

Call Center: A one stop solution, a one window center for all queries, to find answers for all labor related issues, get them to the concerned authorities and get those authorities resolve  the issues immediately.

Why it is important

Why did the Ministry come up with this project in the first place? The DMN News asked Krishna Prasad Bhusal, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security. “ There are two sides to labor issues. Internal labor issues and external labor issues. And there are several other components to it. We launched this project so that labor related issues could be handled and resolved through one-window policy,” said Bhusal. “This is also meant to ensure accountability and transparency of the government and other stakeholders in the labor sector,” he added.  

“Ensuring maximum welfare to the workers based in foreign countries is a priority. The aim is to address all the possible problems Nepali workers might face in the labor destination countries.” 

Bhusal said that the focus of  Sramadhan is to make foreign employment safe, dignified and secure. “In the long run, the idea is to create employment opportunities inside the country itself,” he said.