Nepal received a total of Rs. 304.97 billion in remittance. (Representative Image/Khabarhub)
KATHMANDU: Nepal received a total of Rs. 304.97 billion in remittance, the remittance from the Gulf countries amounted to Rs. 153.26 billion, according to Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB).
Among the Gulf countries, the biggest amount of remittance was received from Qatar at Rs. 53.93 billion (17.7 percent), followed by UAE at Rs. 40.87 billion (13.4 percent) and Saudi Arabia at Rs. 38.15 billion (12.5 percent).
Likewise, the country received Rs. 11.52 billion (3.8 percent) from Kuwait and Rs. 8.79 billion (3.8 percent) from Bahrain, the report said.
The share of Gulf countries in the total remittance inflow to Nepal was 50.3 percent in the first four months of the current fiscal year (FY), an NRB report said.
“The share of remittance was 10.7 percent of the GDP in 2001. It continuously rose and reached 29.6 percent of GDP in 2015/16. Still, in 2018/19, it amounted to 25 percent of the GDP. So remittance has a major share in the national economy,” he said.
However, the ratio of remittance to GDP has been declining in recent years, indicating that economic activities are increasing in the country and job opportunities are being created, he said.
Nepal received Rs. 29.66 billion remittances from Malaysia during the first four months of the current fiscal year which is 9.7 percent of the total remittance inflow.
The United States of America, Japan, and South Korea are the major remittance sending nations after Gulf countries and Malaysia.
Nepal received a remittance of Rs. 25.42 billion (8.3 percent) from the USA, Rs. 22.87 billion (7.5 percent) from Japan and Rs. 6.15 billion (2 percent) from South Korea.
Likewise, the country received a remittance of Rs. 5.04 billion (1.7 percent) from the United Kingdom and Rs. 1.34 billion (0.4 percent) from Australia.
India is the second-largest remittance generating country for Nepal. Rs. 43.16 billion or 14.2 percent of the total remittance was received from India during the review period.
Last fiscal year, Nepal received Rs. 128.5 billion of remittance from India. Out of the total, 90.5 percent was received from the formal channel and Rs. 38 billion from informal channels.
Apart from India, Nepal received a remittance of Rs. 750 billion from different countries in the last fiscal year.
According to the World Bank report ‘Remittance Prices Worldwide’, on average the cost of sending up to US$ 200 by Nepali workers is 4.3 percent and up to US$ 500, it is 2.9 percent.
The average cost of sending remittance to Nepal is comparatively less than the global average, he said. But it is more expensive than in India and Bangladesh.
The high cost of sending remittance might be a challenge to bring in remittance through the formal channel, he said, adding that it would be possible to encourage migrant workers to send remittance through the formal channel by reducing the cost of sending it.
In the first four months of the current fiscal year, around 26100 migrant workers went to UAE, 15593 to Saudi Arabia, 12274 to Qatar and 9993 to Malaysia.
Nepalis go to work as migrant workers to 172 countries.
Nepal has opened up 110 countries for foreign jobs. However, Nepal has signed a bilateral labor agreement with only eight countries — Qatar, UAE, Japan, South Korea, Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, and Malaysia.