Social security

ILO Nepal supports high-level Government orientation programme on contribution-based social security

ILO Nepal supported a high-level discussion on contribution-based social security for Federal and Province level government stakeholders organized by the Social Security Fund (SSF) and the Social Protection Civil Society Network (SPCSN). The two-day orientation programme aimed at strengthening the understanding of the current contributions-based provisions of the SSF, and the role that contributory social security schemes can play in the fiscal sustainability of Nepal's social security system.

Press release | Kathmandu, Nepal | 03 July 2023
KATHMANDU, Nepal (ILO News) - The Social Security Fund (SSF) and the Social Protection Civil Society Network (SPCSN), with the support of ILO Nepal, organized a two-day orientation programme for Government stakeholders in Kathmandu from 22-24 June 2023.  Inaugurated by Honourable Minister, Mr Sharat Singh Bhandari of the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security (MoLESS) and chaired by Secretary,  MrKewal Prasad Bhandari, MoLESS, the orientation programme engaged government officials at the Federal and Provincial levels from Ministries implementing various social protection programmes.

The Constitution of Nepal recognizes social protection as a fundamental right and the Government of Nepal has committed to achieve 60 per cent coverage by 2023-24. The Contribution-based Social Security Act, 2017 makes provisions for social security for all workers. The SSF is mandated to implement the requirements of the Act and the schemes cover eight of the nine branches of social security grouped around four key schemes: i) medical care, health, and maternity protection scheme; ii) accidental and disability protection scheme; iii) dependent family protection scheme; and, iv) old-age protection scheme.

The orientation programme provided a platform for high-level discussion on provisions under the contribution-based social security schemes being implemented by the SSF. The discussions included the design of the provisions of the contributory schemes, their current reach, the challenges in their implementation, and the role that different Ministries and stakeholders play in ensuring effective implementation.

While Nepal has made significant gains in expanding social protection to the most vulnerable, 20.1 million Nepalis continue to remain without any form of social protection. A comprehensive social security system will require complementarity between contributory and non-contributory schemes that can also strengthen the fiscal sustainability of Nepal’s social security system.

“The implementation of the Contribution-Based Social Security Act has been a landmark for the country in the extension of social protection and is key to achieving the national targets for coverage of social protection. Continuing investments in the expansion of contribution-based social security is crucial to improving access to social security in Nepal,” said Country Director for ILO Nepal Numan Özcan.

Similarly, Honourable Member, Mr Ram Kumar Phuyal, PhD, of the National Planning Commission emphasized that “the biggest challenge we foresee now is ensuring the financial sustainability of social protection. The Government’s expenditure on social protection was just 0.78 per cent in 2009. In ten years, it grew to over 14 per cent. To continue our growth and ensure financial sustainability, contributory schemes are key.”

Discussion also focused on the need for better coordination between the different bodies of government at the Federal and Provincial levels implementing social protection programmes to ensure effective coverage and avoiding duplication across programmes.

Group photo     ©ILO