Nepal has ranked sixth among the top 10 remittance earners from Qatar.
However, Qatar Central Bank does not have the actual figures of the money sent by Nepalis back home.
A study by World Bank — the Qatar-Nepal Remittance Corridor — has said that about $634 million remittance has come into Nepal through 299,000 Nepali migrants working in Qatar.
About 1.2 million foreign workers sent remittance of about $13 billion from Qatar in 2011, as compared to $10.24 billion a year back. Remittance outflow from Qatar to Nepal increased by about 27 per cent, it said, adding that the Philippines, with a large number of expatriates, trailed India on the list as the second largest recipient of money transfers.
According to the Qatar Central Bank, the US was in the third spot, while Egypt and neighbouring UAE ranked fourth and fifth, respectively. Nepal, Bangladesh, the United Kingdom, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were the other countries figuring on the list.
This is, arguably, the first time the banking regulator has released remittance figures in some detail — in its 35th annual report made public last week. As expected, the main destination of remittance outflows was the Asian region, accounting for more than half (53.7 per cent) of the total, the Qatar Central Bank added. "The Arab world had a share of barely 28.3 per cent of the total."
India and the Philippines together received more than 72 per cent of the total worker remittance. The ratio of the money outflow to Qatar's gross domestic product (GDP) stood at a high of 7.5 per cent in 2011. Some 85 per cent of the remittance was routed in the national currency of the final destination.
The Qatar Central Bank said it started a portal system last year and it noticed that money was transferred to as many as 190 destinations across the world by 2011-end. Exchange firms continue to dominate the remittance business, with a two-thirds market share.
Qatar Central Bank figures show that remittance has been growing steadily over the past several years, more than doubling since 2007, when the volumes totalled only $5.64 billion. But the population of foreign workers was also low at 768,000 that year.
Likewise, Nepal stood the second largest remittance receiver among the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), according to a latest United Nations report. "Of the total $27 billion remittance received by LDCs in 2011, Nepal stands second to Bangladesh," said the Least Developed Countries Report 2012 'Harnessing Remittance and Diaspora Knowledge to Build Productive Capacities', released last week.The top three recipients — Bangladesh, Nepal and Sudan — shared 66 per cent of total remittance inflow to LDCs, it said, adding that from 2009 through 2011, Nepal and Haiti received more foreign exchange from remittance than from exports. Nepal's remittance equals trade deficit as a share to the gross domestic product (GDP). Likewise, remittance exceeded both Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2008-2010 exceeded in nine LDCs; Bangladesh, Haiti, Lesotho, Nepal, Samoa, Senegal, Sudan, Togo and Yemen. "However, the widening gap between FDI inflow and remittance inflow has to be taken seriously," the report stated.