KATHMANDU, Sept 24: The remittance flow, which had been rising steadily for a year and a half after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, declined in the first month of the current fiscal year.
Experts say that the effects of not being able to go to foreign employment during the pandemic are finally being felt. However, experts are of the opinion that it cannot be said with certainty that remittance has started declining on the basis of a one-month report. The number of people going for foreign employment has dropped significantly since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Employment has not yet resumed in Malaysia, South Korea and other labor destinations that were closed due to the pandemic. During this period, some Nepalis went to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and other countries for employment, but the number is very small. As per the details published by Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) on Thursday, remittance of Rs 75.96 billion has been received from Nepalis living abroad in the first month (mid-July to mid-August) of the current fiscal year. This is a decrease of about 18 percent compared to the previous year.
Remittance inflow had increased by 23 percent in the corresponding period of the previous year. In the first month of the current FY, the remittance inflow in the US dollars declined by 17.5 percent to Rs 638.2 million. Such inflows had increased by 14.5 percent in the previous year.
During the same period, the number of people seeking final labor permits (institutional and individual, new and legalized) for foreign employment has increased to 13,800. Such numbers had decreased by 99.2 percent in the corresponding period of the previous year.
Similarly, the number of Nepalis seeking permits for foreign employment again increased by 286.1 percent during the review period to 11,628. Such numbers had decreased by 80 percent in the corresponding period of the previous year. The inflow of remittance is expected to increase gradually as the number of people going for foreign employment increases.
According to the central bank, net transfer decreased by 16.4 percent to Rs 85.21 billion in the first month of FY 2021/22. Such transfers had increased by 20 percent in the corresponding period of the previous year.