Govt. to amend im­mi­gra­tion rules to al­low for­eign do­mes­tic work­ers

Home and Cul­tural Af­fairs min­is­ter says the gov­ern­ment will ini­ti­ate the re­cruit­ment of do­mes­tic work­ers as long as it does not pose a threat to the se­cu­rity and sovereignty of the coun­try

Business Bhutan - - Front Page - Phub Dem from Thim­phu

The gov­ern­ment has com­mis­sioned a study to im­ple­ment poli­cies and reg­u­la­tions on re­cruit­ment of for­eign do­mes­tic work­ers in the coun­try.

Druk Nyam­rup Tshogpa (DNT) had pledged in its elec­tion man­i­festo that the party would re­view and adopt poli­cies to em­ploy for­eign do­mes­tic work­ers to ad­dress the short­age of babysit­ters and do­mes­tic helps in the coun­try. This was also one of DNT’s 120 days pledges.

Speak­ing to Busi­ness Bhutan, Home and Cul­tural Af­fairs Min­is­ter Sherub Gyelt­shen said the gov­ern­ment will ini­ti­ate the re­cruit­ment of for­eign do­mes­tic work­ers by re­view­ing and amend­ing im­mi­gra­tion rules and reg­u­la­tions

and will in­sti­tute strin­gent mon­i­tor­ing stan­dards and guide­lines for that.“It is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the gov­ern­ment to drive this pledge into ac­tion as soon as pos­si­ble,” said Ly­onpo.

Ac­cord­ing to a study ti­tled ‘So­cioe­co­nomic De­ter­mi­nants of Fer­til­ity in Thim­phu City: The Ef­fect of Babysit­ter’ done by Cen­ter for Bhutan Stud­ies, 72% of the re­spon­dents said they can­not go for more than two chil­dren be­cause they can­not find a babysit­ter. While a ma­jor­ity of the re­spon­dents re­ported that their ideal num­ber of chil­dren is two, 37% of the re­spon­dents rea­soned that they need a babysit­ter if they were to go be­yond their ideal num­ber.

The gov­ern­ment, in line with these griev­ances, had pledged to adopt a pol­icy to em­ploy for­eign do­mes­tic work­ers.

The Home and Cul­tural Af­fairs Min­is­ter said the re­cruit­ment of for­eign do­mes­tic work­ers has be­come a cru­cial ap­proach since the coun­try is fac­ing a se­ri­ous prob­lem of babysit­ters.

Be­sides im­mi­gra­tion laws, the gov­ern­ment also have to re­view la­bor rules and reg­u­la­tions to ini­ti­ate re­cruit­ment of for­eign do­mes­tic work­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to Depart­ment of La­bor’s hand­book on re­cruit­ment and em­ploy­ment of for­eign work­ers, the cat­e­gory of for­eign work­ers is re­stricted to cer­tain group if the work­force re­quested is lo­cally avail­able. The list of re­stricted oc­cu­pa­tion in­cludes child­care work­ers and house­keep­ers. Ly­onpo Sherub Gyelt­shen how­ever said the poli­cies will be im­ple­mented in con­sul­ta­tion with all stake­hold­ers and strin­gent reg­u­la­tions will be put in place to pro­tect the in­ter­ests of both em­ploy­ers and work­ers.

How­ever, one con­cern is the ex­ceed­ing num­ber of for­eign work­ers in the coun­try. Ac­cord­ing to the records main­tained by the Depart­ment of Im­mi­gra­tion, there are a to­tal of 51,096 for­eign work­ers in the coun­try as of Jan­uary 2, 2019. This fig­ure far ex­ceeds the ceil­ing of 45,000 for­eign work­ers de­cided by Na­tional As­sem­bly in 2004.

“As long as the ap­proach is not a threat to the se­cu­rity and sovereignty of the coun­try, the gov­ern­ment will ini­ti­ate the re­cruit­ment of do­mes­tic work­ers,” said Ly­onpo.

A fe­male civil ser­vant said while so much is done to in­crease the fer­til­ity rate of the coun­try through ma­ter­nity al­lowances for ru­ral women, the gov­ern­ment should also look into the ba­sic prob­lems faced by women in ur­ban ar­eas such as get­ting a good babysit­ter. “The avail­abil­ity of babysit­ters will cer­tainly in­crease the fer­til­ity rate since it would be eas­ier for us to raise chil­dren and we will not have to quit our jobs to raise our chil­dren,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to pop­u­la­tion pro­jec­tion by the Na­tional Sta­tis­tics Bureau, the fer­til­ity rate of Bhutan is ex­pected to de­cline below 1.8% by 2030. The fer­til­ity rate is the num­ber of live births a wo­man can bear in her re­pro­duc­tive life span.

In ad­di­tion, the study ‘So­cioe­co­nomic De­ter­mi­nants of Fer­til­ity in Thim­phu City: The Ef­fect of Babysit­ter’ found out that with the ris­ing class of nu­clear fam­ily in which both spouses are work­ing, there is a strong need for house­maids to look af­ter ba­bies and man­age house­hold chores.

His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Gyalt­suen re­ceived a group of chil­dren recit­ing the tra­di­tional Lo­lay (wishes for a good year) for Ny­ilo at the Lingkana Palace Thurs­day morn­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Bhutan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.