MYAGDI, Nov 7: Myagdi district has received over Rs 1 billion in remittances in the festive season of Dashain and Tihar, a time when Nepalis working abroad send home money.
According to money exchange and remittance service providers in the district, Rs 1.20 billion has been received from several countries in the past two months.
Large part of the remittance money is received by families of migrant workers to celebrate the festivals, according to officials of commercial banks and financial institutions based in the district headquarters Beni Bazar and other rural areas.
Families in Beni Bazar and surrounding areas such as Babiyachaur, Darbang, and Takam have received the largest sums, according to Kamal Prashad Dhugana, branch officer of Garima Development Bank.
"Around Rs 280 million has been withdrawn from our bank during this festive season. There is a large population of youths from the district who are either studying or working abroad," Dhungana told Republica.
Among four branches of Garima Development Bank in the district, Beni branch has transacted Rs 160 million, Babiyachaur branch Rs 30 million, and Darbang branch Rs 70 million. Likewise, Pokherebagar branch located at Annapurna Rural Municipality has transacted Rs 20 million in this festive season.
Similarly, Dhaulagiri Saving and Credit Cooperative Limited has transacted Rs 200 million, while Paschim Darbang Saving and Credit Cooperative limited has transacted Rs 250 million. Likewise five branches of Prabhu Bank have transacted Rs 100 million. Around a dozen cooperative organizations at Beni including Buddha Cooperatives, Beni Saving, Muktinath, Rihagad, Lokdeep and others have transacted Rs 40 million in remittances this festive season.
Global IME, Machhapuchchhre, Kailash Development, Bank of Kathmandu, Citizens, and Green Development banks have transacted around Rs 10 million each during this festive season. Around 15 cooperative organizations from five rural municipalities in the district have transacted around Rs 5 million to the locals of remote areas in the district.
Qatar, Saudi, Dubai, South Korea, Japan, India, and Malaysia are the chief sources of remittance in the district. Approximately 70 percent of the total remittance money comes from gulf countries.
"The changing trend of celebrating festivals has also increased festive expenditure," said Sadan Kandel, manager of Paschim Darbang Cooperative.
People use major portion of the remittance money for luxurious activities during the festivals and children's education. Experts and economists say that only a small fraction of the total remittance money is spent in productive sector.
Each year, the district receives remittances worth Rs 4 billion, which is the major source of income for the district. Approximately, 30,000 youths from the district are abroad for employment, studies and other purposes.