Nepal Today

Thursday, March 28, 2013

UCPN MAOIST DEMANDS FIRM DATE FOR ELECTION Kathmandu, 28 March: The UCPN-Maoist has demanded with the government to immediately declare the date of election, RSS reports. The meeting held at the residence of party chairman Prachanda at Lajimpat in the capital demanded it as it was agreed among parties to hold the election by third week of June. Talking to media persons, General Secretary Post Bahadur Bogati said the party urged to move ahead the election process and that problems regarding it will be solved at the meeting of the High-Level Political Committee, whose meeting has been called for Friday. The meeting also discussed addition of some central members to reach the number to 399 including 151 full-timers decided by Monday's meeting. Voice was raised that it would be a sluggish central committee and was to be reconsidered. Bogati said March 30 meeting would decide central members and push the party to election process. Likewise, the party will give final shape to the political report on the issues raised in the 7 th general convention, formation of standing committee and politburo, division of portfolio and formation of departments, said Bogati. Nnnn GCC DRAFTS NEW LAW FOR MIGRANT WORKERS Kathmandu, 28 March:: Countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) — Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman — have drafted a new law to govern domestic workers. It will be a common law among GCC countries to regulate the domestic sector workforce, local newspaper The Peninsula reported. A draft of the law that is proposed to be enforced by every GCC country is ready and is likely to be tabled for approval at a meeting of regional labour and social affairs ministers to be held in Manama next October. A regional committee had been set up earlier for formulating the draft, and some clauses might be amended during the approval process. Once the law is in force in the member states, it will be possible for the countries to have a common employment contract system for domestic sector workers. The new law will help sending countries like Nepal safeguard women migrant workers. Currently, about 244,000 Nepalis are believed to be working in foreign countries, and 200,000 are in the Gulf nations. More than 90 per cent women are involved in the domestic sector which is not protected by the current labour law of GCC countries. Gulf countries have been hiring domestic works under the Kafala (sponsorship) system which international rights-based organisation Human Rights Watch has termed as ‘modern-day slavery’. However, it is still not clear whether the new law will abolish the Kafala system or not. GCC states have been forced to take this step because some major manpower exporting countries are imposing their terms on these states and fixing minimum wages. GCC states do not have separate laws for the domestic workforce sector and it is regulated by the labour law of each country, which is leading to serious regulatory challenges. Head of the human resource committee at the Federation of GCC Chambers of Commerce Saher Al Kabi said that the proposed regional law and common contract system for maids in the region could go a long way in helping battle the problem of runaway workers. The head of an association of Kuwaiti manpower agencies specialising in recruiting maids Fadil Ashkinani was quoted as saying that the most important thing was to regulate the recruitment process of maids. “Almost 60 per cent of the problems regarding the domestic workforce sector will be resolved if we have a law and a strict regulatory regime that keeps a tight leash on the recruitment process,” Ashkinani said. Also, what is needed is a GCC-wide administrative body tasked with implementing the regulations and fixing minimum wages, he further added. Bahrain to take strict action Bahrain’s Interior Ministry has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) to crack down on illegal foreign workers, the Trade Arabia News Service reported. Inspector-General Ibrahim Habib Al Ghaith signed the deal with LMRA chief executive Ausamah Al Absi. Under the agreement, a centre will be set up to shelter 300 runaway workers before their deportation. The Interior Ministry will also join ranks with LMRA officials to refer violators of labour laws to authorities prior to their deportation. Thirty Interior Ministry employees will be assigned to help LMRA inspectors enforce labour market regulations and track down violators. Al Ghaith highlighted the directives issued by interior minister lieutenant-general Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa to back official efforts in combating the phenomenon of illegal workers. nnnn


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