Private sector largely affected by COVID second wave, 3 million jobs claimed to be lost

KATHMANDU: As the second wave of COVID engulfs the country, an unprecedented crisis has erupted in the private sector. Millions have lost their jobs due to month-long prohibitory orders in most parts of the country.

Many people returned to the village from Kathmandu after the prohibitory order was announced. Now most of them are jobless. Even in Kathmandu, most of the industries and factories have come to a standstill and people have not been able to go to work. When the industrialists are not allowed to do their business, they have to struggle to pay the workers. In particular, many areas, including tourism, transportation, and construction, are affected by the COVID wave.

How many jobs were lost?

There are no reliable statistics on how many people lost their jobs due to COVID. General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions(GEFONT), a representative body of the workers, has stated that 3 million jobs have been lost due to a prohibitory ban that started on29th April.

FNCCI President Binod Shrestha said that the second wave has created a big crisis in employment. According to Shrestha, before the wave of COVID  in Nepal, 13.5 million people were employed in the formal and informal sectors across the country. 80 per cent of the 13 million jobs were in the informal sector.

‘In the previous lockdown, about 1.5 million people lost their jobs in both areas. Those who lost their jobs due to the lockdown were gradually re-employed. But the second wave of COVID took jobs of  3 million people, ‘he said

 

Hope in the budget

The government is releasing the annual budget for the fiscal year 2078/79 today. Entrepreneurs are waiting for the government to bring relief programs for the private sector in the budget.

Shrestha says that the government should create self-employment by giving interest-free loans to Nepalis who have come to Nepal from abroad through the new budget.

He said, “Employment will increase if loans are given to set up industries without interest or up to 2 per cent interest.” We have suggested that the government should help those who lost their jobs become self-employed and run their businesses according to their skills. ‘

Labor ministry spokesman Deepak Kafle said the new budget would come with a plan to re-employ those who lost their jobs due to COVID.

Kafle said the Ministry of Labor has emphasized the need to re-employ those who lost their jobs due to COVID and to secure foreign employment. The new budget will provide loans to those who have come to Nepal from foreign employment to become self-employed according to their skills.

He said that the budget would focus on restoring the existing employment and creating new employment.

He said that the budget would focus on restoring the existing employment and creating new employment.

Chandra Dhakal, senior vice-president of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), said that if the budget arrives with the vaccine against COVID, proper health services, and the revival of the Private sector, there will be an increase in employment.

Dhakal said, “Industry is to increase employment.” If the government brings a budget to mobilize the private sector, the problem of unemployment will gradually decrease.

Instead of saying that the private sector only seeks relief, he said, it is necessary to look at how much the country’s economy has been boosted by the private sector.

‘About 75 per cent of the revenue raised by the government comes from the private sector. If a private sector-friendly budget comes, the country’s economy will run and employment will increase, ‘he said.

 

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