outflow of labour migrants

Source: DoFE / Graphic: THT
Kathmandu, December 2 The number of foreign job-seekers that received the final labour permit in the fourth month of this fiscal (mid-October to mid-November) was a whopping 32.64 per cent higher than in the corresponding month of the previous fiscal. According to the data maintained by the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE), while the number of foreign job-seekers had been dropping every passing month since the beginning of this fiscal, the trend was broken in the fourth month, as 30,588 individuals received the final labour permit, up 5,639 from the month before. In the corresponding month of fiscal 2015-16, the number of foreign job-seekers that received the final permit stood at 23,061. "One reason for more people seeking the final permit in the fourth month of this fiscal was because the major festival Dashain had already ended and Tihar also fell in the month of Kartik," explained Govinda Mani Bhurtel, spokesperson for the Ministry of Labour and Employment. Despite the upturn in Nepalis receiving final permit in the fourth month of this fiscal, the total number of people seeking foreign employment has dropped by nearly eight per cent in the first quadrimester of this fiscal (mid-July to mid-November). According to DoFE data, altogether 125,781 people received the final permit to travel abroad to work in the first four months of this fiscal year against 136,586 in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal. According to Bhurtel, Nepalis are no longer as enthusiastic about working abroad as they have become more aware of the difficulties faced by Nepali migrants in foreign destinations and the dangers of opting for foreign employment without completing all the procedures here. Among those receiving the final permit in the first quadrimester of this fiscal, 119,382 were male and 6,399 were female. In the same period of the corresponding period of fiscal 2015-16, 129,226 male and 7,350 female foreign job-seekers had been granted the final labour permit. Among the final permit recipients in the first quadrimester of this fiscal, 116,252 — 110,950 male and 5,302 female — had applied through manpower companies. Such applicants in the same period of previous fiscal stood at 124,478, of whom 119,028 were male and 5,450 were female job-seekers. Despite slowdown in demand from the Middle East, Gulf countries continue to be the highest absorber of overseas labour migrants from Nepal. Altogether 39,709 people left for Qatar in the first quadrimester of this fiscal, followed by 31,881 for Saudi Arabia and 24,686 for Malaysia. In the same period of the previous fiscal, Saudi Arabia had topped the chart in terms of labour destination with 42,152 taking final labour permit to work in the oil-rich country. It was followed by 41,383 taking the permit to go to Qatar and 25,635 to go to Malaysia. "A lot of people are hesitating to travel to the Gulf these days also because of the tensions there," Prem Katuwal, former president of Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies, said. Similarly, number of Nepali migrants who had returned home for a temporary period of time and returned to their destination also dropped by over 40 per cent in the first quadrimester of this fiscal against fiscal 2015-16. Altogether 33,462 individuals got their labour permits renewed in the first four months of this fiscal against 58,999 in same period of last fiscal. The applicants for renewal of labour permit was higher last fiscal because a large number of Nepali migrant workers had returned home following the devastating quakes of April and May.