Business & Economy

Nepal receives record $8.33 billion remittance post-Covid

Kathmandu, Aug 17 (EFE).- Nepal received a record $8.33 billion remittance last year as more and more Nepalese left the country due to the limited employment opportunities outside the farm sector.

According to Nepal’s central bank statistics released on Wednesday, 637,113 individuals were issued labor permits in the last fiscal year.

It equates to approximately 1,750 people departing the country every day.

The fiscal year in Nepal concludes in mid-July.

It is the second-highest number of labor permit approvals on record, according to figures from the Department of Foreign Employment.

“The number of Nepalis leaving the country has increased after many labour destinations opened up following the drop in Covid-19 cases,” central bank spokesperson Gunakar Bhatta told Efe.

“As a result, remittance earning has increased,”

In Nepal, one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world, remittance has become the backbone of the economy over the last two decades.

The central bank’s report says that one of Nepal’s major exports is labor, and most rural households now rely on at least one member’s earnings from employment away from home.

The preferred destination for Nepalis was Saudi Arabia as the country issued labor permits for 188,981 individuals, followed by Qatar (185,013) and the United Arab Emirates (122,644), department records showed.

In 1993-94, Nepal issued labor permits for 3,605 migrant workers.

The number of Nepalese working abroad started to increase after 2000 as the Maoist insurgency peaked in 1996, which killed more than 17,000 people.

The Maoists and the government signed the comprehensive peace accord in 2006.

Jeevan Baniya, a labor migration expert, told Efe that the civil war ended in 2006.

The country’s economy failed to recover resulting in Nepali youths leaving the country for jobs in different countries, particularly in the Middle East nations.

“Nepal continued to face political instability hampering development initiatives,” said Baniya.

“The combination of the decade-long civil war, political instability severely impacted the country’s economic growth and employment creation,” he said.

The number of Nepalese leaving the country crossed the half a million mark in 2013-14, reaching 527,814 before a devastating earthquake hit the country in 2015.

According to the department, a record 642,859 people left the country in 2016-17.

According to Baniya, the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed many Nepalese into a poverty trap.

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