The ongoing and most contentious subject on the overseas employment scheme was discussed during the question and hour session in the parliament yesterday.
Dewathang-Gomdar Constituency MP, Ugyen Dorji said that while the youth unemployment is the main issue in the country, the ever increasing rate of unemployment has taken a disquieting turn due to the issues faced by youths in Japan and similar issues in other countries like India and Malaysia.
He raised the question on how the government would be able to help the victims and how it further plans to avoid similar issues regarding overseas employment program.
He added, “As per the findings of anti-corruption commission (ACC) and reports from media, it seems that the labour ministry is accountable for accrediting such programs and the agencies responsible for sending those youths”.
The Prime Minister Lyonchhen (Dr) Lotay Tshering in response to the question said the issue cannot be generalized. “It can be understood that the program was initiated with a good motive by the former government to reduce unemployment rate but unfortunately few issues like this has emerged due to various reasons” PM said adding that the issue needs to be looked into merit wise.
Regarding the BEO’s Japan ‘learn and earn’ program, the PM said several discussions within the cabinet was held which came up with detailed understanding of the situation and causes. “We would like to say that we understood the situation so well and the factors attributing to adverse situation of our youths out there”.
“As we studied, it seems that not all the youths out there in Japan are equally destitute, as we learned that there are many who are doing well”. PM said his one of the relatives and daughter of one of the ministers who went through same program seems to be doing well.
“In terms of causes regarding corruption and other cases, the responsible agencies are handling it in their own right,” said the PM.
“It’s evident that the situation is felt to be difficult when there is less job opportunity and one needs to survive though one is still required to study”. The PM said that the government also learned the need to rectify such programs carefully to avoid such circumstances in future.
The PM also said that one must be prepared to go to a country like Japan where the work culture is totally different from ours. “If we don’t broaden our mindset, one is bound to get a culture shock, which could be one reason”
However, the PM said that as per the decision that came out from the discussions held within the cabinet, the government would encourage the remaining youths to remain in Japan, provided that the government would offer better solution to ease the ongoing situation.
“We learned that the main issue faced by our youths is attributed by difficulties in clearing loan back here and meeting required expenses out there.”
“I believe that upon completion of the required Japanese language study, one would be offered a good job as per the caliber of the individual even if it means a bit of struggle,” said the PM adding that getting a good job in a first world country like Japan would be great.
The PM said that the solution to the issue from that cabinet was on the flexibility of loan. “We discussed that the youth can continue studying while the loan repayment time would be extended until the youths complete their study and get a good job out there.”
For those who are already back home, the PM said that the government will try to look into different method to employ the youths through Direct Employment Scheme (DES) and subsequently find a loan repayment solution.
Further, the PM said, “To really examine the situation, a group headed by labour minister will be going to Japan very soon”.
PM added that the team which would also include the health minister would try to explore for other business and training opportunities.