Seminar Report on Stepping into tomorrow's
economy: concern of the stake holders
Organized by Center
for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS)
6-7 May 2011, SAP Falcha, Babar Mahal, Kathmandu
When the country has entered into the
new political system and new constitution making process is
running, people at large are concerned about future political
situation of the country, particularly impact of the impending
changes on their life. The key issues at stake are how new economic
development would affect their life. Will there be the new employment
opportunities? How will the issues of worker are going to be
addressed? In this context, the vigorous discussion on the future
economic policies is most. These discussions and interactions
will help to generate new ideas and can contribute in the preparation
for the new economic policy. The seminar and the interaction
of this kind on different themes will help to collect different
ideas from different interest groups and a concrete conclusion
can be drawn which will guide us for to step into new economy
of the country. Through the analysis of the present economy,
the future economic policies can be formulated with the elimination
of the shortcomings and focusing the sustainable economy tomorrow.
Nepal has recently entered into the new political
system with promises of federalism. New constitution making
process has not been completed yet. So, the entire politics
has set its prime priority to draft new constitution within
the assigned period but that has not been the case so far. Since,
the country is in the transitional phase, the political situation
is unstable and the affect of it has led to the unstable economic
condition, disturbed social environment and the confusion on
the public as to what will be the future of the country and
When the country will have the new constitution
with the federal units in place, people are concerned as to
what will be the new economic reforms, plans and the processes
in this new state. The issues of economic development, educational
plans, and employment issue have been the concern of people.
Several discussions are being held. In this context, a deep
discussion on Nepal's step into the new economy, the status
of the employment opportunity in tomorrow's economy and the
issues of employer and trade union will be very relevant and
it will direct the way the new economy will be addressed.
The discussion on the same issue from different
perspective will help to analyze the subject matter from all
dimensions. Hence, the seminar had the four thematic paper presentations.
The presentation had the following themes:
- Nepalese economy and labor market in Nepal.
- Tomorrow's economy and the employment opportunities.
- Key issues of employer's into tomorrow's
- Key issues of trade unions into tomorrow's
Nepalese economy: critical overview
The economy of the country is said to be degrading
which has been the concern of people, stakeholder and the state.
The economic growth is very less and the economy has not been
shouldered by the sustainable productivity. Due to the political
instability, people are not finding the favorable environment
to work so are attracted for foreign employment. Though, at
present context, the remittance has been remarkably contributing
to the nation's economy, but it is only for the short term.
In long term, the foreign employment can't contribute in the
sustainable growth of the economy. In the charm of remittance,
we are neglecting the potentialities of youth being exported.
Because of foreign employment, here we find the scarcity of
workers because of which we are becoming very weak in infrastructural
However, the economy is not as poor as we
see. Infrastructure in the rural areas has been developed. We
have the road connection in most of the villages and districts.
The people have been implementing modern technology in agriculture
and they have been producing chain crops. The people returning
from employment have started to invest the money in agriculture
and self employment which inspires other youth also to remain
in the country. We are growing but we still have to grow faster
for the developed economy
Nepalese economy and the labour market
There are several problems and anomaly in
the Nepalese economy in present context. The foreign employment
has been prioritized in spare of the in country employment.
The country's economy is highly dependent upon the remittance
received from the foreign employment which counts of 23 % of
the total economy. The dependency on remittance is very dangerous
for the economic health of the state. There is a problem of
growing unemployment and under employment and the gender inequality.
The wages differentials are directly affecting the productivity.
The informal sector is growing and the workers are victimized
and the issues have not been addressed by the state's policy
as well by the trade unions due to the increasing politicization
of the trade unions and employers.
Stepping into the economy of tomorrow
For a sustainable development the workers
and employer both should strike a right deal to push economic
agenda ahead. The government should also have the strategies
oriented towards sustainable development. Some of them can be:
- To take the structural crisis by implementing
international standard in the social and labour market policy.
- To create job opportunities for all worker
with a livable minimum wages.
- Proper utilization of nation's natural
and human resources for democratic equality especially for
a low wage worker.
- Proper utilization of nation's natural
and human resources for democratic equality especially for
low wage workers.
- To expand social enterprises including
nonprofit cooperatives, to support creation of self employed,
job oriented and livelihood enhancing activities to provide
equal access to social security i.e health , education and
The economy of the future will be based on
participation on co- production of wealth and sharing of benefits
between worker and employers. With the equal access to opportunities,
resources we can have full employment and decent work both for
men and women. The economically active group can be utilized
and who can contribute toward sustainable economic growth.
Tomorrow's economy and the employment opportunities
The labour force participation rate is increasing.
The women are also becoming economically active and the employment
to the population rate is 61.5% .There is several sectors where
the employment opportunities are and will be in the future.
The prime focused area should be the agriculture, forest and
soil conservation, industry, trade and tourism, irrigation,
infrastructure development, foreign investment and private sector
development. With the formulation of the effective economic
policies as developing the agriculture sector, river training
programs, youth empowerment and skill trainings, policies of
local employment opportunities, the overall employment can be
Key issues of the employer's in tomorrow's
The present economy of our country is characterized
by the liquidity crisis in the banking sector, industries based
on export being closed, low productivity and the purchasing
capacity of the people going down because of the under employment
and unemployment and above all the complicated unstable political
situation which is causing the economic crisis. The future economy
can be made sustainable by prioritizing the private sector that
cares for people. There exist some challenges to the private
sector in tomorrow's economy. They are:
The majority of the population is dependent
upon agriculture , so shifting some share towards other sectors
as industries , tourisms , infrastructure development for increasing
For the sustainable economy of the country,
the key concern should be focusing on export and establishing
export based industries, increasing the competitiveness of the
industries, ensuring the government policy, the modernization
of agriculture and the formulation of the investment friendly
policy will inspire the investors to invest in the fearless
environment which will contribute to a sustainable economic
Key issues of trade unions into tomorrow's
In the present context, there are less industries,
the nation's economy is dependent upon the foreign employment
which has created challenges to the trade unions to address
the issues of the worker. The policy had not been worker friendly
and the trade union in the present context has not been able
to intervene in the policy. The productivity has not been increasing
and the skills of the worker have not been the importance. So
the effective leadership, effecting policy formulation should
be the demand in the future economy. The trade unions should
lobby for the creation of employment opportunities, the utilization
of the youth energy, in the country's development, the implementation
of the technology and the manpower capable of handling the modern
equipments, improve the industrial relation and hence contribute
for the increase of productivity. This can lead to a sustainable
economic development tomorrow. So in the future economy, the
trade unions should have the following key priorities:
- To encourage the sustainable productivity
by enhancing the qualitative and competitive traits and skill
of the workers.
- Dialogue with the management and organization
for the implementation of the modern technology and promote
the capacity of the workers to handle the modern equipments.
- To enhance innovative thinking, skills,
technology, diversified work and thought, professionalism,
mobility and productivity.
- To initiate to change the labor based economy
into knowledge and technology based economy which will lead
to the economic development of the country
- To encourage the implementation of the
modern technology in agriculture, animal husbandry, tourisms
with the involvement of the youths.
- To create the employment opportunities
with the implementation of the information technology in all
the economic activities and enhance the capability of the
workers through focus in education.
- To establish the industrial relations and
the social dialogue and improve the productivity through the
collaboration with the stakeholders concerned.
- To support for the political stability
through democracy, human right and personal freedom.
- To develop the organizational capability
for the expansion of the public investment, economic mobility,
Presently Nepali economy is in dismal condition.
Political instability has created uncertainly among workers
and the investors. There are paradox between the abundance of
labour (more than four lakhs young generation enter into the
labor force every year) but still we face the scarcity of manpower
in the country because more than 75% of them go for foreign
employment as migrant workers.
Economy of tomorrow's requires the recognition
of common interests of capital, and the minimization of the
cost of participation in the production, distribution and sharing
of wealth. The future economy of the country rests upon its
different stakeholder. The core stakeholders who can contribute
to the future economic development are the trade unions, employers,
government and the general public. Through the effective coordination
and the cooperation among them can ensure the increase in the
productivity, industrial establishment, improved human development
index in term of social security, job and justice and livelihood.
This will in total lead to the increased economic growth of
the country. For this, the new policy addressing to the investment
increment in the fearless working environment, worker's right
protection, gender equality and skill enhancement of the people
should be formulated and implemented. With the union of trade
unions and employers on common economic agenda of industrial
peace can offer them choice and the unity will enable them to
be stronger for generating the changes oriented towards the
growth of the society and bring the full transformation.
The seminar was a successful in terms of the
themes discussed, the interaction and the conclusions made.
The themes discussed will really be the contributing milestones
for tomorrow's developed economy.
The economy cannot grow in the situation of
uncertainty, without social support of workers and the cooperation
of the general public. All the stakeholders should mutually
share the responsibilities for the growth of the economy. The
report strongly recommends the following stakeholders to be
To the Government of Nepal
In the present context the policies are not
labor friendly, they are not effective in terms of incorporating
more people into effective work and increase in productivity.
For the sustainable economy in the future, the foreign employment
should be discouraged from the policy level. The workers right
should be ensured, the private sector investment should be encouraged
through guarantee of protection. The policies with the economic
priorities will be effective in economic reforms in the tomorrow's
The trade unions
The trade unions should first focus on the
workers unity rather than the ideological disparities. To reduce
the threat upon the workers in tomorrow's economy, the skill
enhancement of worker, the capability to tackle the modern technology
should be the priority. The trade unions should initiate the
harmonious industrial relation with the employer. The trade
unions should change the traditional ideologies and the goals
with the good industrial relation should be set up.
The country's economy is highly dependent
upon the investment of the employers. The stakeholder should
also excurse the new dimensions of investment. The investment
in the agriculture, infrastructure development can be the focus.
Also, the present context of poor industrial relation can be
troublesome to boost the industry in future, so with the mutual
coordination with the trade unions group, the organizational
development can be obtained which will finally decrease the
productivity. Also, discouraging the migration of the workers
will also be the good initiation for the sustainable economy
which can be done by the employers group.