HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai today assured unemployed youths that the upcoming budget will focus on employment generation programme to mitigate the staggering unemployment in the country.
Replying to queries of unemployed youths at a programme in the capital, Bhattarai informed that the government is planning to bring Employment Guarantee Act to ensure employment for youth.
“We are planning to introduce programmes to guarantee at least 100 days of employment for unemployed youth in a year and if it’s not possible to provide such employment, a 50-day unemployment allowance will be provided to all the youths”, said the PM.
However, he said that as there is no parliament at present, all the parties should agree to bring the law through ordinance. He also blamed opposition parties for being non-cooperative on each and every agenda of the government and charged them of pushing the country to a standstill with their demand that the government refrain from bringing a full budget, fearing that the Maoist-led government would be popular with its economic reform programmes.
Talking about youth employment programmes in the upcoming budget, the PM said the government would continue its Youth Self Employment Programme which will provide Rs 200,000 to any youth who wants to seek self-employment. Likewise, the PM said the government will bring attractive schemes to stop the Gulf-bound youth or bring them back. He also said the National Volunteer Service would provide at least partial employment to tens of thousands of unemployed youths.
Bhattarai reiterated that economic revolution was the need of the hour as Nepali people had been fighting for political change for more than six decades. Stating that around 500,000 unemployed youths are added in the job market annually, the PM said the government alone would not be able to solve the problem and therefore a stronger private sector was required for nation building.
Justifying the present government’s inability to bring a dominant economic agenda, the PM said the present government had to work on the economic agenda set by the previous Jhala Nath Khanal led government. “We are working on the budget agenda set by the previous government and also this government is not a Maoist majority government. So there are many obstacles,” he said. He also said that if the people grant the UCPN-Maoist two third majority in the next election, the government would be able to work towards fulfiling peoples’ aspiration for prosperity.
Speaking at the programme, economist Dilli Raj Khanal blamed the power-centric politics of parties for exacerbating the economic ills and unemployment in the country. He also underscored the need to include unemployment allowance as a part of the social security programme.
The programme was organised by the Maoist affiliated Unemployed Youth Organisation. The PM was asked to answer representative questions chosen from around 10,000 queries collected via SMS , Phone and Email.
Prime minister Bhattarai also felicitated Maoist cadres and Central Committee members including Krishna KC, who climbed the Mount Everest during the programme.