July 20, 2024, Saturday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Address unemployment!

The Nepal Weekly
June 18, 2024

Unemployment at home is disturbing Nepali youths and compelling them to leave the country. The problem is so serious that it, if left unattended, would create several social, economic and political problems in future. It would also create a situation in which the country faces grave labour problems. The agricultural sector has already encountered shortage of seasonal farm labour. As a result of the same agricultural productivity has suffered. The tendency to ignore farming in fertile agricultural land has already expanded in different parts of the country in Terai, hills and the Himalayas. Several villages of Nepal have already witnessed exodus of youth labour. The elderly or old people receive remittance from their children working abroad. But the same cannot serve like a substitute of fresh agricultural productivity. Lack of unemployment leads youth either to drugs or criminality of various kinds. Both are destructive in nature and compel youths to destroy their creativity and productivity. A general survey of the budget for the next fiscal year 2024-25 at the federal, provincial and municipal levels, demonstrates lack of appropriate emphasis on creation of employment opportunities. In other words, they do not have specific policies or mission to engage youths in employment at massive level. The same could be taken as a gap in budget formulation. All three levels of government could make a difference in expanding opening of employment opportunities in development works, infrastructure building and other sectors. They appear to have been motivated by the remittance, which is important but should not be taken as a continuously dependent sector for all time. Nepal has already learnt how geopolitical problem compels remittance to go down. It cannot be the substitute of creation of employment opportunities at home. Planners and decision makers who contributed directly or indirectly to formulation of the budget should rethink about addressing unemployment problem of Nepal in a specific way. Some discussants of the budget have appropriately highlighted the need of addressing unemployment in a direct way. Their logic should guide the authorities concerned to concentrate on addressing unemployment. It should be recalled addressing unemployment cannot be achieved by simply paying lip service to the need of tackling unemployment. Some real time concentrated work should be done for addressing the problem of unemployment. If this is not done in time, the problem would expand in future affecting various dimensions of Nepali society.