Friday, May 24, 2024

Govt steps in pipeline to keep remittance stable

Asif Showkat
The government has decided to take initiatives to keep the remittance inflow stable in this stormy time of global financial turmoil, sources in Bangladesh Bank said.
‘We will take several plans for increasing remittance inflow, including asking the banks to reduce their charges on remitted money; as a result, more remittance will come through the official channels,’ said a senior official of the central bank.
The official also said more money would be spent for the well-being of Bangladeshi workers abroad.
‘The remittance inflow is still okay. There is no sign of any adverse impact of the global financial crisis on remittance,’ he added.
Another BB official said about 80 per cent money remitted to Bangladesh comes from Middle Eastern countries.
Meanwhile, a central bank study reveals that about 40 per cent remittance still comes in the form of hundis.
The Bangladesh Bank will hold a meeting styled ‘Increase remittance inflow at the time of global recession’ with the authorities concerned and bankers at its auditorium today (Monday).
The central bank is likely to take several strategies to increase remittance inflow, keeping focus on three key issues, BB sources said.
The first issue is raising remittance inflow through legal channels.
The second issue is for the government to find new opportunities for investing remitted money inside the country and the third for the authorities concerned to utilise more remitted money for the well-being of Bangladeshi expatriates abroad.
The strategies that the central bank is mulling include extension of the drawing system of Bangladeshi banks with more foreign exchange houses and setting annual minimum limits of withdrawal by the banks from exchange houses in the UK, USA and Canada to increase the remittance inflow through banking channels.
In today’s meeting, the central bank will also ask the private commercial banks to take initiatives to motivate Bangladeshi expatriates abroad to send money home through them, the sources said.
In the first five months of the current fiscal year, remittance inflow has recorded a 34 per cent rise, contrary to the World Bank’s gloomy forecast, according to BB data.
In the July-November period, Bangladesh received $3.75 billion in remittance, up from $2.80 billion received in the same period in FY08.
More significantly, the remittance inflow jumped to $767 million in November from $648 million in the previous month. In October and November of the last fiscal year, the remittance was $559 million and $617 million respectively.
In a recent report on ‘Global financial crisis and its likely impact on Bangladesh’, the World Bank said the remittance in the current fiscal year is likely to fall by 20 percentage points from FY08. The WB projected a $9.2 billion remittance, which means a 16.8 per cent growth, in the current fiscal year.
In the worst-case scenario, the figure will hover around $8.9 billion, with 12.4 per cent growth, the report said.
In 2008 the remittance amounted to $7.9 billion, posting a 32.4 per cent rise from that in 2007.
In the current fiscal year, an additional eight lakh workers were projected to go abroad, but the figure may come down to two to three lakh in the worst-case scenario, according to the WB report.

Courtesy: newagebd.com

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