Overseas labour migration drops 22.59 per cent

Kathmandu, December 22

The number of workers leaving the country for employment purpose dropped by 22.59 per cent in the first five months of the current fiscal year, as protests in the Tarai and weakening of the Malaysian currency worked as deterrents for job aspirants.

A total of 174,926 Nepalis left the country for overseas job destinations in between mid-July and mid-December, shows the latest report of the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE). In the same period last year, a total of 225,977 Nepalis had left the country for employment purpose.

“The number of workers leaving the country for employment purpose fell because of protests in the Tarai, which affected movement of people,” DoFE Spokesperson Janak Raj Regmi told The Himalayan Times, adding, “A large number of foreign job seekers currently hails from the southern plains.”

Also, the weakening Malaysian ringgit worked as a disincentive for workers planning to go to Malaysia, which used to be top absorber of Nepali workers till the last fiscal year, Regmi said.

A Malaysian ringgit used to fetch around Rs 30 a year ago. Now, the exchange rate hovers around Rs 25 per ringgit.

“Since the erosion in value of the Malaysian currency directly hits income level of workers, many are not showing interest in going to that country,” Regmi added.

Because of this, Malaysia fell to the third position in the list of most favourite foreign employment destinations of Nepalis in the first five months of the current fiscal year.

In the five-month period, Malaysian firms enrolled a total of 31,201 Nepalis — or 17.84 per cent of total outgoing workers — in their payrolls, shows DoFE report.

During the review period, the biggest chunk of Nepali workers was absorbed by Qatar. The Gulf nation provided jobs to 54,127 Nepalis — or 30.94 per cent of total outgoing workers — in the five-month period.

The second favourite foreign employment destination of Nepalis in the five-month period was Saudi Arabia. A total of 53,759 Nepalis — or 30.73 per cent of the total outgoing workers — left for the Gulf country during the review period.

Among others, 21,901 Nepali workers left for United Arab Emirates, 4,114 Nepalis departed for Kuwait, 1,782 workers left for Japan, 1,633 workers left for South Korea and 1,423 workers departed for Oman.

Of the Nepalis who left the country for employment purpose, 165,793, or 95 per cent, were men and the rest were female.

Among these people, 157,521, or 90 per cent, had reached out to manpower agencies to seek placements abroad, shows DoFE report.