Remittances to Nepal increased in the first eleven months of FY 2017-18, said Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) in its recently-released report.
In its latest Macroeconomic Report, NRB said the country’s remittance earnings saw a 7.3 percent rise to Rs 679.73 billion in the first eleven months of the fiscal year.
The rise in remittances was observed despite a decline in number of Nepali migrant workers moving abroad for jobs and is majorly attributed to the rise of Dollar against Nepali Rupee.
According to Migration Expert Arjun Kharel, more Nepalis abroad sending their incomes to home through banking or formal channels has also contributed to the rise in remittances.
“Remittance inflows have grown even though the number of Nepali workers seeking approval for foreign employment has been on a declining trend,” says Arjun.
A Glance at Numbers
According to the report, Nepal Government approved 342,426 individuals for foreign employment during the mid-August to mid-June period of FY 2017-18.
Malaysia topped the list as the major source of destination for Nepali migrants, followed by Qatar UAE and Saudi Arabia, among others, for the first eleven months of the 2017-18 fiscal.
According to the report, Malaysia witnessed more than 104,149 Nepali migrant workers in the said period, showing a 15.37 percent year-on-year rise.
Qatar stood second hosting around 97,536 Nepali individuals, showing an 18.57 percent year-on-year drop. Next in the list, Saudi Arabia also saw a 46.60 percent decline with only 38,680 Nepali individuals.
Whereas, UAE saw a rise of 5.46 percent year-on-year rise by welcoming 55,631 Nepali workforce.
Foreign market analysts feel that oil prices, low migrant wages and delay in payments could be among key factors that slowed down the movement of Nepali migrants to Saudi Arabia for jobs.
While Nepal Government has seen a drop in migrant departures for the two consecutive years, Arjun says that the impact of the fall in worker departures on remittance inflows will not be visible immediately and most likely to reflect in the coming year.
Rise in Wages
In another interesting update, South Korea has announced increase of wages to Nepali migrants working in the country.
In its latest decision on July 13, 2018, the South Korean Government fixed the minimum wage of a Nepali migrant at 8,350 won, which is approximately Rs 809 per hour, marking a 10.9 percent growth on the current pay.
According to local media, the Minimum Wage Council decided this after a 19-hour-long discussion and is being considered as a first such decision in the country’s history to increase the minimum wage to the 8,000-won mark.
Now, Nepali workers in South Korea are more likely to get a Rs 20,000/per month hike with the rise in basic salary starting from 2019.
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