KATHMANDU, June 15 (Xinhua) — As the number of Nepalese departing for foreign employment declines this year, the World Bank has warned that it could lead to a potential slowdown in remittance, posing significant threat to Nepalese economy.
Because of remittance’s outsized role in the Nepalese economy, it poses significant near-term risks, the Washington-based lender said in a report released on Wednesday.
The remittances Nepal receives is around 30 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and has been credited as one of the key factors behind the decreasing poverty level in recent years.
The Department of Foreign Employment, which gives approval for people heading for foreign jobs, said the number of people going abroad, dropped 32 percent to 348,628 as of mid-May this fiscal year which ends in mid-July.
This is one of the steepest and longest declines of migrant workers’ departure which has exceeded the migrants’ worker contraction in 2009.
Its impact has already started to appear with inflow of remittances slowing down since January 2016 after surging following a massive earthquake in April 2015.
In three months from January to April, inflow of remittances has contracted by 5.3 percent (in dollar terms) compared to the same period of previous year, according to the WB report.
“Remittances are nearly 10 times higher than foreign aid and 2.5 times larger than Nepal’s total exports,” said Takuya Kamata, the WB country manager for Nepal.
As the remittances enable consumption-centric structure of the Nepalese economy and the Nepalese government relies on taxation based on imports fueled by remittance, even a modest contraction in remittance inflow would have adverse effects on economic growth, as well as fiscal and external accounts, the report said. Enditem