Labour minister Ngeema Sangay Tshempo said the ministry has started studying the lapses pointed out by the Royal Audit Authority (RAA) regarding the government’s employment generation programmes and is following the recommendations seriously.

He said it was important to clarify the lapses pointed out and the recommendations made are from 2010-2015. The ministry, he said, is working hard to improve, which is why it is working on the initiatives to draw an action plan for 2017-2018.

“We wanted to go to the ground because employment generation is a multi-sectorial issue that involves strategies and operational plans,” Lyonpo said. “It is critically important for all the sectors to make employment.”

The recent audit report pointed out that the labour ministry and other agencies responsible for employment generation and facilitation have been ineffective, leading to various lapses and shortcomings. The report had also stated that several programmes to facilitate and promote employment were initiated without a proper study.

“Based on the recommendations and lapses, we’re identifying and will delineate roles, responsibilities and accountability of the lead and implementing agencies to address inadequacies in employment and mechanism,” Lyonpo said. “We’re coming up with measures to address deficiencies and are trying our best to improve the employment situation in the country.”

The minister added that after the audit findings, the ministry started reflecting on what it had done before and after 2015 and is looking at the shortfalls.

He added the ministry is also looking at the initiatives that it took in 2015 where a taskforce was formed and are reviewing the various employment generation programmes. The ministry then formed a job plan following a special task force report for 2016-2017. The ministry has also prepared a job plan for 2017-2018.

“Again to correct where we went wrong, during the job plan meeting we identified some of the sectors, talked and consulted with about 10 different sectors that are big employing agencies. This plan identifies job plan and defines roles among several sectors and agencies.”

The minister mentioned that since there were lapses earlier too, the ministry has introduced a number of programmes like graduate skilling programme, guaranteed employment programme based on cost sharing, and overseas employment.

He said that for those working overseas who wish to come back later and those who are repatriated because of fake agents, the ministry has planned an elaborate re-integration programme to give them jobs when they are back home or to give them loan to start a business.

“But we’ll make sure that we deal with the fake agents in the court,” said labour minister.

Yangchen C Rinzin