As a result, Nepali working populations have been migrating to foreign destinations such as Malaysia, Singapore and Gulf countries, majorly. More than 1,750 Nepal’s leave the country daily for foreign employment, according to the latest data available at the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE).A total of 639,167 aspirant migrant workers left for various countries in the last fiscal year 2016/17, up from 418,713 in the previous FY 2015/16.
Mohan Adhikari, the DoFE spokesperson, said Qatar has emerged as the most popular destination among Nepali migrants.A total of 125,892 people left for the gas-rich nation in the FY 2016/17; the previous year 129,038 Nepalis had left for Qatar to work.
“Qatar remains one of the most preferred countries among Nepalis because it is friendly to migrant workers than other Gulf-nations,” said Adhikari. Qatar has bumped down its neighbor Saudi Arabia to become the most preferred job destination for Nepalis.
According to the latest data, the number of Nepali migrant workers going to Saudi Arabia has declined by nearly 45 percent, from 138,529 in the FY 2015/16 to 76,888 in the FY 2016/17.
“Saudi Arabia has faced problems in recent times. Oil price and other economic issues contributed to the closure of many companies there,” said Adhikari. “There were also reports of migrant workers getting low wages and of payment delays, which might have led to the decline in the number of Nepalis going there for jobs.”
The number of Nepali migrant workers going to Saudi Arabia stood at 98,246 in the FY 2014/15. The number picked up to 138,529 in the FY 2015/16 before it dropped to 76,888 this past fiscal year, the record low in three years.
Malaysia, the most popular foreign job destination for Nepalis until the FY 2014/15, made improvement after seeing the number of Nepali migrant workers plunge from 202,828 in the FY 2014/15 to 60,979 in the FY 2015/16.
The number of Nepali migrant workers going to Malaysia for jobs rose to 98, 437 in the FY 2016/17.“There has been a positive signal from Malaysia, which was receiving a very nominal number of Nepali migrant workers in the last few years,” said Adhikari.
According to the DoFE, Nepalis can get work permits for nearly 170 countries. However, countries like Malaysia and members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that include Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab of Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, among others, are favored destinations for Nepalis.
Experts believe the recent Gulf-crisis is likely to affect the intake of Nepali migrant workers in this year.“Gulf-crisis that begun in the month of June could not affect much this year as it was near to the closing of our fiscal year. However, this upheaval will surely cause a decline in the number of Nepali workers going to Qatar. The demand of workers has already been very low,” said Adhikari.