KATHMANDU, May 11: Nepal’s remittance earnings in the first nine months of the current fiscal year rose by 16.5 percent compared to that of the same period of the last fiscal year, despite a massive drop in the outgoing number of migrant workers.
According to Nepal Rastra Bank’s nine months’ report under ‘Current Macroeconomic and Financial Situation,’ Nepal received remittances worth Rs 729.02 billion by the end of the third quarter this year. During the review period last year, the earnings from remittance went down 4.2 percent.
In the US Dollar terms, remittance inflows increased 13 percent to 6.19 billion during mid-July 2020 and mid-April 2021. During the period, the number of Nepali workers (institutional and individual-new and legalized) taking approval for foreign employment decreased 66.7 percent. Similarly, the number of migrant workers taking approval for renewal entry for foreign employment also decreased 55.7 percent in the review period.
Despite the projection of the multilateral institutions like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, Nepal has been able to raise its remittance earnings successively over the last year even after the risk of coronavirus spread. NRB officials attributed the increased remittance to workers using more banking channels to send their money back home. As per the officials, the migrant workers used to remit money via informal channels before the outbreak of the pandemic.
Asian Development Outlook 2021 released by the Asian Development Bank two weeks ago has, however, cautioned that it would not be an easy time for Nepal in terms of remittance earnings in the days to come due to the ongoing severity of the second wave of COVID-19. “A weaker than expected regional and global recovery would limit employment opportunities abroad for Nepali workers, which will constrain remittance and earnings from exports, and dampen Nepal’s growth,” the report says.