March 2023 Analysis: National Security and Climate Change

Posted by : Prabisha Basnet


Date : 2023-03-30

On 22nd March, 2023; in order to ensure the rights and protection to the migrant workers employed at the foreign company or those who are self- employed, the social security fund had established the social security schemes. On that particular day, the kidney patients of Mahakali Provincial Hospital submitted the memorandum demanding the permission for the proper use of Kidney dialysis machine present at the hospital. The end of the month reported the rise in COVID-19 cases making it necessary for the people to ensure they are well vaccinated and protected. And also, the country got appointed with new Inspector General of Police (IGP).

Timeline of Major Events

Date Events
March 19 Government removed fixed term labour approval.
March 22 Social Security Fund initiated social security scheme for Nepali migrant workers who are employed by foreign company or self-employed.
March 22 Kidney patients submitted memorandum demanding the operation of dialysis services in Mahakali Provincial Hospital.
March 27 Basanta Kunwar got appointed as the new IGP of Nepal.
March 30 42 new COVID-19 cases were reported.

Should we be worried about the surge in COVID-19 cases?

On 30th March, 2023, 42 new cases of COVID-19 has been reported in Nepal. The data published by the Ministry of Health and Population on 30th March, 2023 shows that the COVID-19 cases are increasing day by day. Ministry of Health and Population has suggested people to take preventions and get fully vaccinated.

The surge in the COVID-19 cases is not a good sign for Nepal as it has opened borders by uplifting all COVID-19 related restrictions and removing all pre arrival testing requirements for the tourists  . With the increment in the cases, if these restrictions are put in place again, it might affect the number of tourists coming in. After more than three years, on 15th March, 2023 Beijing provided permission to its citizen to travel to Nepal. Allowing inflow of tourists without any precaution could also lead to a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The Ministry of Health and Population has been requesting people to get fully vaccinated as well as take other precaution measures to avoid a surge of COVID-19 cases. Hence, along with the government, the citizens also need to be aware about precautionary measures.

Slow in decision making process makes living harder for the Kidney patients

The kidney patient of the Mahakali Provincial Hospital had to submit memorandum to the hospital development committee asking for operating the dialysis machine. Despite of having five dialysis machines along with well-trained human resources, the hospital has not been operating the machines due to lack of the permission from the Department of Health services under the Ministry of Health and Population.

Due to the late and poor decision-making process of the government, the kidney patient had to travel to different districts or to the bordering country for checkups and kidney dialysis. Kidney dialysis process in private institution is also costly charging Rs. 4500 for each session, which is unaffordable for the people from poor economic background. The government of Nepal has provisioned free dialysis to patients from poor economic background at National Kidney center, but it is not feasible for every patient to travel and get treatment here. Hence, government should consider of making this provision available in all the provincial hospital. Likewise, on 20th February, 2023 Indian government had promised to provide 200 kidney dialysis machine to Nepal. Hence, it would be better if these machines would be distributed by the government to the hospitals accordingly to the hospital’s need.

New social security scheme for Migrant Workers

On March 22, 2023; Social Security Fund (SSF) started a new social security scheme for the Nepali migrant workers working in a foreign company or for those who are self-employed. The scheme was launched by the Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal. And the scheme was inaugurated with the inclusion of Manju Thapaliya who is currently working in Israel.

The social security scheme has been introduced to ease the sufferings of the migrant workers by providing them with proper rights and protections. For the eligibility of the facilities provided by the fund, the migrant workers should be registered with the fund. Additionally, the migrant workers are needed to provide the contribution of 21.33 percentage of their basis monthly salary or minimum of Rs. 2000 or the three-fold of it at maximum to the fund. Out of that 21. 33 percentage collected in a fund, 7.48 percentage is supposed to go for the accident insurance and for the disability and dependent family protection scheme and rest of 13.85 percentage is entitled for the pension of the migrant workers.

Likewise, to ease the life of migrant workers, the government of Nepal on 19th March, 2023 has decided to provide labour approvals for foreign employment as long as for the period of contract the worker signs with their employers. Before, the migrant worker had to renew their labour approvals every two years. Thus with the initiation of the social security scheme the country’s rising expenditure of the national budget has also got some relief and with the extension of labour approval, life of the migrant worker will be easier. Moreover, with the proper planning the money collected in the fund can be utilized for creating job opportunities as well as in the infrastructure projects and other productive sectors.