KATHMANDU, APRIL 12
Remittance inflow increased by 8.6 per cent to Rs 642.14 billion in the first eight months of the current fiscal year compared to the 1.5 per cent rise in the same period of the previous year.
According to macroeconomic update report published today by Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the number of Nepali workers going abroad declined even though remittances increased.
As per the central bank, the number of Nepali workers both institutional and individual-new and legalised workers taking approval for foreign employment slumped by 74.8 per cent in the review period. It had increased by 24.2 per cent in the same period of the previous year. Similarly, the number of Nepali workers renewing approval for foreign employment plunged by 65.2 per cent in the review period against a fall of 2.7 per cent in the same period of previous year.
Mahendranath Bhattarai, information officer of the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE), said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, workers were compelled to send money via legal channel due to which the remittance flow has increased. However, it has to be remembered that the remittance inflow had gone up by 10.9 per cent in the first seven months of the current fiscal year.
"A large number of workers have lost their jobs and they have returned to Nepal," he said, "As the COVID-19 threat still looms large, a number of workers are still not being able to go back to their work destinations, which in turn resulted in less number of workers renewing their approval or getting new approvals."
Similarly, net transfer has increased by 7.2 per cent to Rs 718.70 billion in the review period while such transfer had gone up by one per cent in the corresponding period of the previous year. As per the NRB, during the review period, capital transfer increased by 6.8 per cent to Rs 11.91 billion.
Meanwhile, net foreign direct investment (FDI) decreased by 34.8 per cent to Rs 10.18 billion. In the same period of the previous year, capital transfer and net FDI amounted to Rs 11.15 billion and Rs 15.61 billion, respectively.
According to the central bank's report, the year-on-year consumer price inflation stood at 3.02 per cent in the eighth month of the current fiscal year 2020-21 compared to 6.70 per cent a year ago. Food and beverage inflation stood at 3.80 per cent whereas nonfood and service inflation was at 2.41 per cent in the review month.
Meanwhile, exports increased by 7.8 per cent to Rs.80.78 billion compared to an increase of 22.3 per cent in the same period of the previous year. Similarly, in the eight months of fiscal 2020-21, imports rose by 2.1 per cent to Rs 943.99 billion against a decrease of 2.6 per cent a year ago.
The total trade deficit jumped 1.6 per cent to Rs 863.21 billion in the review period. Such deficit had decreased by 4.3 per cent in the same period of the previous year.
A version of this article appears in the print on April 13, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.