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Saudi Govt change in Nepal puts off hiring of house helps

KATHMANDU: Saudi Govt efforts to reach an agreement with Nepal to recruit house helps has hit a snag following a major government change in Kathmandu.

“Negotiations to reach a recruitment accord have halted and will not resume until the formation of a new government,” said an official at the Saudi Embassy in Nepal.

Saudi Govt official said the negotiations had reached the final stage and arrangements had been completed for the visit of the former Nepalese labor minister to the Kingdom. “We expect different scenarios following the setting up of the new government, including cancellation of the agreement and rejection of recruitment negotiations,” he said.

However, the Saudi official emphasized that the government change would not prevent the Kingdom from continuing its negotiations to reach a labor recruitment deal.

Political analysts are doubtful about the fate of the labor agreement with Nepal as a result of flagrant differences in labor policies of the new and previous governments.

“The Saudi Embassy in Kathmandu endorses work visas daily for about 800 Nepalese employees recruited by companies in the Kingdom,” the Saudi official said.

The two sides had fulfilled many of the conditions for reaching an agreement before the parliamentary elections. The new parliament has elected Bidhya Devi Bhandari of Communist Party of Nepal, a long-time campaigner for women’s rights, as the country’s first female president last month.

During negotiations, the Nepalese side had insisted that the recruitment should be carried out through a company or office. Recruitment talks between the two countries halted previously following a massive earthquake in Nepal

Saudi Labor Ministry officials are likely to explore maid-recruitment opportunities from other countries following the indefinite halt in negotiations with Nepal.

:: The two Nepalese women, who alleged rape and abuse against a Saudi diplomat, outside the Nepal embassy in New Delhi. (Photo: Reuters)

Published Date: Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 | 09:28 AM

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