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Soft loan attracts migrant returnees

The government’s bid to retain migrant returnees has received an encouraging response with more and more workers applying for the financial assistance introduced to engage them in occupations within the country.

Nearly 3,000 youths who are experienced in foreign jobs have applied for a soft loan since the scheme was launched on November 22.

Under the scheme, skilled migrant workers who returned to the country within the past three years can apply for a soft loan of up to Rs1 million.

“This plan is aimed at retaining workers within the country and utilising their skills and experience gained abroad,” said Rajan Prasad Shrestha, executive director of the Foreign Employment Promotion Board, the government authority working for migrant workers’ welfare that implements the scheme.

“We are getting positive response from migrant workers. Growing interest in the scheme proves that people want to stay in the country and do something on their own here at home,” Shrestha added.

According to board officials, there have been 200 applicants for financial grants and the number is likely to surge before the December 14 deadline. Applicants can apply online or submit documents to the board office. 

For accessing financial support from the government, applicants should submit a clear business plan along with necessary documents certifying their experience and skill in a particular sector.

However, not many candidates have submitted concrete business plans that would increase their chances of getting the support, Shrestha told the Post.

A large number of applicants have only mentioned what they would be doing with the fund they will receive.

“Others have written a few lines explaining the business they want to start. Some have submitted a budget breakdown. Some candidates have submitted an application like a business plan. For instance, they want to start a buffalo farm so they want money from the government,” said Shrestha.

The foreign employment promotion board has sought a detailed business plan that would clearly mention how the enterprise would operate, the number of people to be involved in the business, and how the business would utilise their own skills.

The board has not specified any sector in which it wants the fund recipients to invest or start their business.



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