Nepali Times Asian Paints
ARTHA BEED
Economic Sense
Vacancy, Nepal


ARTHA BEED


KIRAN PANDAY

The serpentine queues to get application forms for the Korean Language Proficiency Test filled the front pages of Nepali newspapers this week. The first impression people get is the usual one. There is no future for Nepali youth, so they have to find ways to leave the country. Generations have done it before us, and generations more will do it after us. Bureaucrats, politicians, businesspeople, intellectuals, professionals Ė many tell their children not to come back to Nepal, as there is no future here.

But is it really the case that there are no opportunities for people in Nepal, especially at the worker level? Or is it that we are so fatalistic about Nepal we cannot see these opportunities? This Beed was chatting with some fellows busy flooring tiles the other day. The overseer was a migrant Indian worker who brings his own men over for the job. He told me there are about 7,000 people from his district in Midnapore, West Bengal, who are working just in tiles in Nepal. They send home around US$200 every month, which is more than the average remittance to Nepal.

It is estimated that about US$500 million leaves the country each year. This means for every dollar of remittance coming in, 25 cents goes out as reverse remittance, especially to India. Even for the country with the largest remittance inflow in the world (around US$22 billion), Nepal represents about 4-5% of income. Now consider that Nepali exports make up less than 0.1% of Indian imports!

Of late, the issue of domestic help has gained prominence in Kathmandu, with many complaining how difficult it is to find someone. While good domestic workers are earning around Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000, we are yet to see a surge in people actually wanting to be employed as domestic help. Why is it that Nepalis don't want to work as hairdressers, washerwomen (or men), cleaners, door-to-door delivery people and lots of other service providers? Why should selling vegetables be considered a menial job? Nepalis would rather sweat in the Gulf's heat and be exposed to abuse than work for a Nepali in Nepal.

Are foreign masters really better than Nepali ones? Even in Nepal you get inklings of this mindset in the way you are served in restaurants frequented by expatriates and the way security guards and drivers with embassies or INGOs deal with their fellow-Nepalis. While 'dollar farmers' engaged in writing reports may link this to our feudal mindset, it is perhaps a little more complicated. Even in the development sector, Nepalis tend to perform differently under Nepali team leaders than they might under foreign team leaders. This holds true for the corporate sector, too.

So it seems the question of opportunity is more to do with the Nepali psyche than with Nepal's economy. What Nepali youths require is not only skills training (which is limited) but also a large-scale campaign that acknowledges that leaving Nepal is fine, but emphasises the fact that there is nothing wrong with working in Nepal if there are opportunities. This business of transformation, in itself, is a huge opportunity for those who see it.

ww.arthabeed.com

READ ALSO:
Hollow state, Prashant Jha
Spectacle, not speculation, Rabi Thapa
Hollow state, Prashant Jha
FIFA fo fum, Ass



1. Nirmal
This is characteristic of a society where there is no regulated labour market so it is not exclusively nepali. I have seen the worst migration stories. In Africa, mothers have more than 6 children so that at least one of its sibling could arrive to the west alive.
 Do Nepal as a Nation-State have any fundamental labour policy? There is none, neither right nor left oriented. It is not a question of making the best of a bad job, it is more a question of rewriting the whole labor policy again. And so far there are no efforts to that end.  In the absence of a scientific labour market, the exodus of Nepali youth and capitals are sure to happen. Thus, adding more social tensions. I think this is another one aspect on which the policy makers should work in order to pacify the whole Nation which has been suffering due to vast societal imbalance.

When a government becomes a club of some priviledged men then it is always the young men, women and children who have to maintain the government at the expense of their well being. When the suffered ones are poor and ignorants, it is not as serious as when they are educated and unemployed. A nation with more than majority of youth being educated(not illiterate)but unemployed is certainly a powder keg.


2. pravasi nepali
Can safety and equal chances of development be ensured in nepal? Even in kathmandu, there are dozens of civic problems such as constant blackouts,garbage disposal,pouring of anti-social vagabonds from outside Kathmandu. Students can't study in peace; and there are frequent bandhas. Daily wagers; of whom u talk about, are the most hit. People are forcefully made to donate; even ur vegetable sellers and meat sellers are made to sell their products to gundas like maoists in paltry price(in may bandh). So there is no future in nepal.


3. nasp
this has lot to do with 'lahure' culture that british imposed with ranas' help in this country. no wonder many say gorkhali brain lies in their ass.


4. jange
# 2. Stop blaming the Maoists. The Maoists sacrificed their lives to give Nepalis the unprecedented and historical political benefits from which you are now benefitting. Appreciate what the Maoists have done for Nepal and thank them next time you meet a Maoist.

Stop being such an ingrate.


5. Nepal Hill, Singapore
" This Beed was chatting with some fellows busy flooring tiles the other day. The overseer was a migrant Indian worker who brings his own men over for the job. He told me there are about 7,000 people from his district in Midnapore, West Bengal, who are working just in tiles in Nepal. They send home around US$200 every month, which is more than the average remittance to Nepal."

Assuming that this is true, thinking linearly, what you are saying is 
every year  US$ 200 x 7000 x 12 = US$ 1,68,00,000 (i.e. about NRs. 1,23,48,00,000 or 
about 1 arab+, assuming 73.50 exchange rate) leaves Nepal as wages ONLY to tile-floorers from West Bengal. 

Does the tile-flooring job alone sound like it is worth more than Rs. 1 arab annually to workers from one district in Midnapore to you?  Does this sound sensible? There are numbers. There is common sense. Most accountants like you are good at the former, and the not good at the latter. 


6. npas
true, accounting talking big should be taken with just a grain of salt ... but anyone who has attempted to construct anything that involves cement, pipes, iron rods, tiles, electrical, water pumping etc knows how much of earned dow is being drained away, while nepalis with masters degrees shovel dirt in south korea ...



7. yam gurung

Nepal regime have always used Nepali people as an diplomacy currency in the international markets.



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


ADVERTISEMENT









himalkhabar.com            

NEPALI TIMES IS A PUBLICATION OF HIMALMEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED | ABOUT US | ADVERTISE | SUBSCRIPTION | PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS OF USE | CONTACT