KATHMANDU, June 15: While the number of people going for foreign employment is declining due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the remittances sent by Nepalis living and working abroad is continuously increasing.
As per the details made public by Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) on Monday, the growth of remittances continued till mid-April of the current fiscal year. In the first 10 months of the current fiscal year (mid-July 2020 to mid-May), the remittance inflow increased by 19.2 percent to Rs 809.89 billion, which is higher compared to the same period of the previous fiscal year.
The country’s remittance income was expected to fall sharply as a large number of youths are unable to go for foreign employment due to the COVID pandemic. Officials at the NRB said that the recent rise in remittances is due to the control in the rampant use of Hundi. However, no study has been conducted so far.
The remittance inflow had decreased by 6.3 percent in the corresponding period last year. During the review period, the number of final labor permits (institutional and individual-new and legalized) for foreign employment decreased by 60.3 percent. The number had decreased by 2.7 percent in the corresponding period last year.
The number of Nepalis seeking employment permits for a second or more times for foreign employment has decreased by 49.0 percent during the review period. The number had decreased by 24.6 percent in the corresponding period last year.
After the COVID-19 pandemic hit, most of the destination countries stopped taking Nepali workers. Malaysia, the largest destination, has been closed since the first wave of the COVID pandemic began. Even if Nepali workers go to other destination countries for employment, the situation is not favorable for work. A total of Rs 879 billion was received in FY 2018/19 and Rs 875 billion in FY 2020/21 as remittance in Nepal.