A report on ‘Remittance hits record in May’ published by the Daily Star recently where it says that the month of May saw a record amount of remittance flow for a single month as expatriate Bangladeshis sent $1.75 billion to ensure that their loved ones back home can celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr with more festivities. And that is the matter of joy to Bangladeshis because Bangladesh is progressing day by day economically, no doubt.
The government has proposed an incentive of two percent on money remitted by expatriate Bangladeshi to encourage bringing in foreign remittance through legal channels during the declaration of this year’s budget. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has proposed allocation of Tk 3,060 crore for next fiscal year to this end and to mitigate the burden of increased expenses in sending foreign remittances.
Expatriate Bangladeshi workers and their families often face financial losses and risks due to accidents and various other causes as there are no insurance facilities available to them but after this proposal the risks might be mitigated in a great extent. Since the incentive will be sent through legal channel, the receivers will be informed through SMSs so that no misunderstanding or fraudulence can happen while being remitted. Besides, this will significantly increase the remittance flow and discourage the ‘hundi’ business as well.
Since the incentive flow will grow, digital ‘hundi’ business can be stopped easily because this incentive would encourage the remitters to use the legal channels to send money home without any hesitation and since these happenings will go on through legal channel, there would not happen any bad incident. If this continues, ‘hundi’ business will soon be eradicated.
However, the initiatives have been taken by the government for establishment of training centers in order to develop skilled workforce to boost remittance earnings. Even the government has promised to create an investment-friendly environment for the country and already Bangladesh Investment Development Authority told to help the NRBs to invest in Bangladesh.
Though the remittance state in Bangladesh is praiseworthy, the deficit is still high and the majority of the banks are facing acute foreign exchange crisis for high import payments for the government’s mega infrastructure projects. If the crisis can be reduced and moderated, Bangladesh will surely take a place of a developed country with economy, security and lifestyle.
The writer is the Head of IT at Islamic Bank Limited.