According to the records maintained by the Royal Monetary Authority there has been around Nu.8 million in remittance from the youths working in Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, and Israel from September 2016 till June 2017 after launching Remit Bhutan in the Middle East countries.
Records maintained by the Bank of Bhutan Limited showed that Nu. 6 million has been remitted so far by 387 active accounts holders with the bank in the past seven months.
Remittances from the youths working in the Middle East countries reached more than Nu. 355 million in the last 18 months as per the figures from the Bhutan Postal Corporation Limited, which is the only agency that operates Western Union.
The remittances from the Middle East, as maintained by the three financial institutions, crossed Nu.370 MM with majority of the youths opting for Western Union through the Bhutan Postal Corporation Limited.
The Program Officer for Overseas Employment from the Labour Ministry, Ugyen Tashi, said that many people are often misled into thinking that the government is wasting huge amount on overseas employment programs when the actual functioning of the program is contradictory to such claims. “The expenditures on youths going to Middle East are as good as saying just a minimal expenditure by the government. Youths going through Employment Agents pay their own agents fee while those programs directly implemented by the Ministry covers minimal expenditure,” he said. “For instance, the program under M.H Alshaya Company, wherein the Ministry deploys hundreds of youths in the company in Kuwait, UAE, Qatar and Bahrain only bears the miscellaneous administrative cost of the training academy including electricity, telephone bills and rent of the academy which may not even come up to Nu. 50,000 a month.”
The Program Officer added that other costs including stipend of the trainee while conducting trainings, salaries of the trainees, visa costs and flight tickets are all borne by the company in the Middle East. “These companies are the most reputed retailers in the Middle East who have come forward to facilitate the employment opportunities for our youths,” he said. “More and more reputed companies are coming forward, they do it by themselves, the Ministry just facilitates in obtaining visas and extending hospitality when they come here for recruitment purposes while others are taken care by them.”
He also said that the inflow of hard currency in the country will contribute to the local economy, improve work ethics and provide exposure to our youths, and at the same time preparing them to utilize their own skills upon returning back to Bhutan.