The Himalayan Times, 29 Oct 2017
The number of migrant workers leaving the country for jobs in different countries fell slightly in the first trimester (mid-July to mid-October) of the current fiscal against the data of the corresponding period of last fiscal. The total number of migrant workers going abroad dropped by 5.39 per cent in the review period.
A total of 83,776 migrants left the country for foreign employment in the first three months of the current fiscal year, which stood at 88,553 in the same period of last fiscal.
As per data maintained by the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE), the number of migrant workers is lower in the current fiscal on a month-to-month basis too. A total of 28,121 migrant workers left the country from mid-July to mid-August this year, whereas it was 32,752 in the same period of last fiscal.
Similarly, the number of migrant workers going abroad decreased in the second month too — mid-August to mid-September — to 31,086 against 32,769 in the same period of last fiscal. However, the number of migrant workers increased in the third month of the current fiscal — mid-September to mid-October — to 24,569, which stood at 23,032 in the same period of last fiscal.
Mohan Adhikari, spokesperson for DoFE, said that the number of Nepali migrants going abroad dropped due to internal problems in the destinations. “We can see that Qatar and Saudi Arabia are both going through economic problems. Due to this the demand of migrant workers also fell in the aforementioned nations, which consequently affected the outflow of Nepali workers,” he informed.
Meanwhile, as per the data of DoFE, Malaysia topped the list of destinations of Nepali migrant workers in the current fiscal, whereas Qatar was in the top position last fiscal year. Out of the total 88,553 migrant workers, 31,277 Nepalis went to Malaysia in the first trimester that accounted for 37.33 per cent of the total migrant workers. In the corresponding period of last fiscal, 19,180 Nepali migrant workers had left for Malaysia for jobs.
“Qatar is going through high inflation since its diplomatic rift with Saudi Arabia and due to this the saving capacity of migrant workers has declined,” Adhikari said. “As a result migrant workers are opting for Malaysia and other destinations rather than Qatar and Saudi Arabia.”
In the first trimester of last fiscal, 27,620 Nepali migrant workers had chosen to fly to Qatar, however, this number fell to 20,291 in the same period of this fiscal. “Qatari businesses have not raised the salary of migrant workers since long and to compound this problem inflation has also risen there. Hence, even though there are many opportunities in Qatar, migrant workers are choosing Malaysia and other countries like United Arab Emirates,” Adhikari stated.