Due to lack of confidence in the government, fewer employment opportunities, and social pressure, more of the younger population have developed an intention to migrate permanently to another country, according to a global survey.
"Over 27 per cent of the youth aged between 25 to 34 had an intention to migrate permanently to another country, while a little less than 20 per cent of the youth aged between 15 and 24 intented to migrate permanently to another country in 2011," according to 'Young people’s intention to migrate permanently to another country, 2011' published by the Gallup World Poll, 2012.
Due to lack of economic activities that has been in the back burner since the last couple of years, formal job creation remains weak, while informal jobs and underemployment have also shrunk lately forcing the young populace to migrate in search of greener pastures.
The annual flow of Nepalis in search of employment overseas has increased recently as more than 554,441 Nepali youths migrated in 2012 in search of greener pastures due to the government’s failure in creating employment back home.
"Leaders must make creating good jobs their number one mission," said labour and migration expert Dr Chiranjivi Nepal. "It has to be the primary purpose of a leader because securing good jobs will become a new currency for them," he said, adding that the incumbent government led by UCPN-Maoist leader Dr Baburam Bhattarai not only failed to create employment for the youth but also discouraged them to stay home. "No wonder, they want to migrate to another country."
Though remittance has helped the country's economy sail smoothly even during the decade-long Maoists' armed conflict, apart from maintaining macro economic stability and helping reduce poverty, Nepali youths are paying a higher cost for migration, he added.
Nepal was one of the largest remittance receivers among Least Developed Countries in 2012, receiving $5,115 million as compared to $4,217 million in 2011. Even though the rising remittance inflow has pushed imports up and helped the government meet its revenue mobilisation target, it has not helped propel the economy. The country is facing a huge trade deficit of Rs 251.66 billion — a rise by 27 per cent from last fiscal year's six months — in the first half of the current fiscal year due to rising imports led by remittance inflow and low export capacity.
Likewise, the cost of migration ratio to per person and gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is also among the highest in Nepal, compared to India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan — lowest in the region — in South Asia.
After the decade-long armed conflict ended officially on November 21, 2006, with the signing of a Comprehensive Peace Accord between the seven-party alliance government and Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), people were hopeful about a secured future. But hopes started to fade as successive governments failed to focus on the economy and solely concentrated on political power play to outdo each other.
Last but not the least, the death of the Constituent Assembly last May 27 and the Bhattarai government's apathy towards nation building have forced the youth to seek jobs abroad as domestic industries are either closing down or downsizing their capacity.
Though mobility is an essential feature of today’s world as the social structure in the industrialised world has created the need for workers and professionals from other countries, the migration of the youth population could be suicidal to a country.
"Migration of youth means there will be no one to look after the agriculture farms," said Nepal, adding that the productivity of agriculture has gone down in recent days due to lack of manpower in the hills and Tarai. "If other alternatives are not found, youth migration will severely hamper the country's ability to realise its potential."