khaskhabar.com : Sunday, June 20, 2021 08:50 AM
New Delhi. Unemployment has only increased in Nepal, which is vulnerable to the second wave of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown. A survey by the Nepal Rastra Bank last year indicated that more than 60 percent of businesses in the Himalayan country could close completely. A large number of Nepalis are once again planning to move out of the country in search of employment opportunities.
Gulf countries including Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman continue to be the most preferred employment destinations for Nepalese. Malaysia is also another country attracting Nepalese youth. These seven countries host an estimated 1.3 million Nepali migrant workers, the Kathmandu Post said.
In addition, the number of Nepalese people working in India is estimated to be between 30 and 4 million. The newspaper said that most of the Nepalese working abroad are employed in India. But since Nepal and India share an open border, there are no official figures.
A Kathmandu-based analyst told India Narrative, the youth of Nepal never saw any future in the country. The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy has only made things worse.
Two years ago, Nepal’s Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli had launched an ambitious job creation scheme with an allocation of Rs 3.1 billion. But sources say that it has failed to deliver due to corruption.
The Observer Research Foundation (ORF) said in a study published six months ago that eight percent of informal sector workers and 1.4 million home workers are at serious risk of losing their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The International Labor Organization had earlier noted that a large number of labor force, especially youth, have opted to migrate abroad in search of higher income and respect at work.
This hasn’t changed, a Kathmandu-based entrepreneur told India Narrative. Nepalese are still looking for lucrative options outside the country with limited employment opportunities. He said, the severe second wave of Kovid 19 has further affected the economy and many of us are looking towards an uncertain future.
Recently, ANI said that despite restrictions imposed by district authorities, a large number of Nepalese migrant workers cross the border into India every day amid a depressing employment scenario.
Despite the shutdown of public transport since April 29, migrant workers are trying to reach India for employment in desperate circumstances, the news agency said. Most of these workers are paying an outrageous price for transportation in vehicles with passes provided for emergency services.
Will unemployment become a matter of concern for Oli?
Interestingly, multiple sources told India Narrative that rising unemployment may not be a major concern for Oli even as Nepal gears up for general elections in November.
One of them said, it is true that unemployment has increased, but this issue is not new. It has been in crisis for many years. Oli is someone who is well connected at the grassroots level and this can help him in the upcoming general elections.
The ORF study states: Unfortunately, job creation for youth has not been a priority for the present government in Nepal or any government in the past. Planners and policy makers in the country are indifferent to the problem, as they are only satisfied with the growth of remittances from migrant workers, which account for more than a quarter of Nepal’s $30 billion GDP. (IANS)
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Web Title-Job losses in Nepal after Covid surge unlikely to hit Oli political fortunes