General Federation of Nepalese Trade Union (GEFONT) has begun a campaign with the goal of getting 2 million workers to participate in the social security fund within the next four years. GEFONT has announced a target of 2 million (Mission 2 million).
Speaking as a Chief Guest CPN UML Deputy General Secretary Bishnu Rimal expressed his support on behalf of the party in the campaign of GEFONT on the occasion of the 5th Contribution Based Social Security Day program. He announced that all the workers in the formal sector and 75 percent of the workers in the informal sector would be enrolled in social security within the next 5 years. Rimal said, "100 percent of formal sectors workers and 75 percent of informal sector workers will come under social security." Social security fund has been registering only formal sector workers so far, preparing to include workers in the informal sector, self-employed and foreign employment in the Social Security Fund. It is expected to expand the scope of social security. Especially the workers in the informal and self-employed sectors have been demanding for a long time to contribute to the fund.
GEFONT Patron Rimal said that since it is a matter already protected by the social security law whether an employer does not want to register the workers working with him, such employers should be punished according to the law. Trade Union knows to use the force language saying that Rimal said but they are already protected by the social law and the rights available according to the law can be obtained only on the basis of rights. On the occasion, he recalled the action taken by the Social Security Fund against some banks and praised it. He held the view that GEFONT should intervene in the registration of workers across the country. Speaking on the occasion, former President of GEFONT Rimal expressed his happiness that the program has been implemented instantly saying that, once social security is like a heaven in the sky for former workers. GEFONT has made the bulkiest efforts to implement and effectively implement of Contribution Based Social Security Program in Nepal and a long campaign was conducted for this. GEFONT has played a role in bringing the important trade unions of Nepal to a common platform and raising collective voices to create an environment for social dialogue with employers.
Speaking on another context CPN UML Deputy General Secretary Rimal had committed that whether CPM UML take over the reins of the government the worker's minimum wages will be boosted to 25,000 per month within 5 years which is mentioned in the election manifesto. Deputy General Secretary Rimal said that even if the UML is out of the government, it will not remain silent and will continue to strive to increase the wages of the workers along with the labour movement. Prior to this, the KP Sharma Oli-led government had significantly increased the minimum wage of workers. The government of CPN, committed to increasing the minimum wage of workers by 5000 within five years, fulfilled that commitment. Before leading the government, the monthly minimum wage was 9,400, but the government led by KP Oli increased it twice to 15,000. If the CPN-UML forms a government under its leadership, it has promised to increase it by 60 percent to 25,000 per month within the next five years. In Nepal, there is a legal system to review the wages of workers every two years.
Speaking on the occasion, the executive director of the Social Security Fund, Kapilmani Gyawali, said that the facilities provided by the fund to the registered member workers are being gradually increased. He informed the couple that healthcare facilities, facilities provided in case of terminal illness, and other facilities have been recently included and some of them are in the process of being implemented in the near future. He said that while social security is available only for formal sector workers, millions of self-employed workers are deprived of it while working in the informal sector. The Fund has prepared a procedure and sent it to the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security and expressed the hope that it will be released soon. In connection with Social Security Day, Labor Minister Sher Bahadur Kuwar has committed that the procedure will be issued within a week on an occasion organized by the fund in Kathmandu on Mangsir 11. This will open the door for working in the informal sector and for self-employed workers to be included in the scope of social security.
Speaking on the occasion, GEFONT President Binod Shrestha said that both the perpetual social security and contribution-based social security in Nepal were implemented by the CPN-UML-led government. He said that the monthly allowance program for senior citizens started by Prime Minister Manmohan Adhikari's government has proved to be a fund for the program to provide social security. President Shrestha held the view that GEFONT from the beginning has taken the contribution-based security program as the economic, social protection and industrial peace of workers. "GEFONT has been raising the issue of Social Security as a major agenda in every congress of GEFONT", he said.
President Shrestha said that they have been conducting workplace-based campaigns from policy intervention to implement this. He also pointed out that there is a need for many reforms in the existing social Security System. He emphasized that the illusion created in a well-planned manner should be refuted by behaviour.
On the occasion, Budanilkantha municipality Deputy Mayor Anita Lama informed that there is an objection to the registration of the municipal workers. Lama expressed commitment that her municipality will work to present the data that so many workers have joined the social security fund within the next 6 months.
GEFONT Vice President Sita Lama made welcome remarks and WSM representative Bruno also addressed the program.
As of November 27, 2022, more than 17,500 employers and more than 375000 workers are registered in the Social Security Fund. More than 27 billion contribution amount has been collected from them. Similarly, the fund has paid 2.7 billion to 50,800 contributors and their families for various schemes so far. According to the fund, 317.8 million has been paid to the medical health and maternity protection scheme, 37.2 million to the accident and disability protection scheme, 5.9 million to the deceased contributors under the dependent family protection scheme and the remaining amount has been paid under the retirement scheme.
Similarly, the fund has started to provide the sum of money to be provided to the contributors according to the investment procedure from this year. It is said that the fund has provided about 400 million rupees to the contributors for this type of loan and grant.