|Remittance: Lifeblood of Nepal's Economy, Foreign Minister|
NEPAL 27 Jan: Speaking at a program held in the capital today, Nepal's Foreign Minister, Mrs. Sahana Pradhan has said that the nation's reeling economy is being provided with life by the remittance pouring into the country from various countries across the globe.
"The growth of Nepalese economy is circumscribed by the decade long armed conflict. In such a case, remittance has supplied oxygen to it", Mrs. Pradhan said.
"The country feels proud to mention the volume of remittance inflow in the national context which crossed US $ 1 billion yearly from the formal channel", she continued.
Ms Pradhan was making her remarks at the program on ""Foreign Employment, Remittances and Foreign Policy" organized by the Institute of Foreign Affairs (IFA).
"Labor migration is recognized as a win-win activity for both sending and the receiving economies and that if on the one hand the sending country receives scarce foreign exchange and on the other, receiving country accelerates its economic growth with the help of migrant workers", the minister added.
She also disclosed on the occasion that soon Nepal would be signing labor agreements with a number of countries across the globe. However, the minister said that "the interests of the Nepali workers abroad will be safeguarded".
"Remittance has become the lifeblood of the Nepalese economy", she declared.
From the panel of experts, Keshar Bahadur Baniya, Director General at the Ministry of Labor, said that the government is totally unaware of the whereabouts of those Nepali migrant workers who number more than 1 million, however, 1.27 million workers who left for employment abroad have been officially registered at the ministry of labor.
"This is indeed a pitiful situation and the workers abroad have been working under totally unguarded situation", Baniya lamented.
"There must be the presence of some form of functional relationship between the Ministry of Labor, Finance and Foreign Affairs to devise future plans and strategies in order to look into the aspects of security, welfare and the individual rights of the migrant workers", he said.
"There are more than 740 manpower agencies throughout the country that are mostly unprofessional, disorganized and financially non transparent…the government has made enormous efforts to decrease their numbers yet has so far remained unsuccessful in this regard", he added.
Rameshwor Khanal, the secretary at the ministry of finance, opined that the since the year 1996 there have been a decrease in poverty chart by 11%...it has been mainly successful due to the exponential growth in the remittance inflow into the country.
Rural purchasing power has grown tremendously which is due to the increase in remittance that is primarily the reason that the nation could economically survive during the decade long crisis, Mr. Khanal added.
Dr. Gopal Prasad Pokhrel and Ms. Anjan Shakya of the Institute of Foreign Affairs spoke on the occasion.
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