NSB to carry-out the Labour Force Survey henceforth
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC), chaired by Tashi Dorji, the National Council Member for Wangdue Phodrang presented the reviewed Performance Audit Report on Ministry of Labour and Human Resources (MoLHR).
One of the main recommendations made by the PAC Committee was on the need for an ‘independent agency’ to carry out the Labour Force Survey and not by the Labour Ministry itself. This was accepted by the house.
However, Trongsa MP Tharchen expressed that the Labour Ministry already has a statistical division to carry out such survey.
Based on the observations and findings of the Royal Audit Authority (RAA), nine recommendations had been made to help in better implementation of the ministry’s plans and policies, enhance greater accountability and improve their process of decision making.
The recommendation to establish a robust system to monitor and supervise the Ministry’s programs was found to have been fully implemented. It was noted that the concerned officials from the Ministry frequently visited to monitor and ensure success of the programs under the supervision of the officials from the headquarters. Similarly, for the overseas program it was found that the officials started visiting the countries like India, Middle East, Thailand and Japan at least once in a year to monitor the youths.
As per the Committee’s finding on the RAA’s recommendation to ensure strict enforcement of Regulations on Bhutanese Overseas Employment Agent (BOEAs) 2013, it was observed that the Ministry has strictly incorporated the recommendation where four BOEAs out of the eleven registered agents have been suspended for violating the provisions of the regulations.
The recommendation to upgrade the existing process of conducting Labour Force Survey to bring about appropriate results were also observed to have been fully embraced by the Ministry. It was noted that the survey methodologies were reviewed by World Bank team in 2014 where the same is also being carried out by the sampling experts from NSB while obtaining survey clearance every year.
The other recommendation made by the RAA to the Labour Ministry was to develop a strategic response to unemployment situation in collaboration with the Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) and other relevant agencies which was found to have been partially incorporated because the Ministry reported that the National Key Results Areas and sectoral key result areas are being developed in collaboration with GNHC and other agencies to be implemented in the 12th FYP. However, it was found that the 11th plan target of maintaining unemployment rate at 2.5% or under and full employment at 97.5% , youth unemployment target at 2.5%, female youth unemployment at 2.5% were set in discussion with the GNHC as recommended.
The recommendation on the need to develop Employment Responsibility System was also found to be partially implemented where the agencies in the Ministry are given a fixed employment target to be achieved during the 12th FYP. It was found that the Ministry holds regular consultations with all the relevant stakeholders to place Employment Responsibility on various other agencies.
The recommendation to update the information management system for employment facilitation programs was also found to have been fully implemented by the Ministry where the Ministry has completed developing and has operationalized Bhutan Labour Market Information system and database for some the programs.
The recommendations to conduct assessment on labour market need, detailed study on unemployed youths and come up with a viable solution to ensure sustainable employment generation and facilitation of programs were found to have been implemented partially with planned strategies under formulation to implement the recommendations fully.