The country's inward remittance is expected to decline 3.17 per cent in the outgoing calendar year, due to factors including sending money through unofficial channels, revealed a new report on Thursday.
It said migrant workers sent home US$19.58 billion in the January-November period of the current year. If the trend continues, the remittance income will stand at $21.36 billion at the year end, it said. This is to mention that migrant workers sent home $22.06 billion in 2021.
The report also assumed that the country's overseas employment will rise by 81.88 per cent this year. Bangladesh sent more than 1.0 million workers abroad in the 11 months of this year.
The employment will stand at more than 1.1 million at the end of the year, it also added.
The report, titled 'Migration Trend Report from Bangladesh-2022, Achievement and Challenge', was disclosed at a press conference organised by the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) at the National Press Club in the city.
RMMRU Chair Professor Tasneem Siddiqui, who presented the report before the journalists, said declining growth in remittance inflow depends on various factors.
For instance, workers are heavily dependent on 'Hundi' due to low rates in banks.
Besides, workers usually cannot send remittances in the first year of their migration.
Every year, a significant number of workers are cheated while going abroad, and they do not get due jobs there. Moreover, many of them arrange money from home to return home. This is called 'unsuccessful migration', she said.
Though many people are going abroad for the sake of jobs, this 'unsuccessful migration' is leaving a negative impact on the overall remittance situation, she clarified.
The RMMRU chair suggested ensuring safe migration and increasing incentives for the workers to encourage them to send money through official channels.
"The incentive should be 10 per cent for the remitters," she suggested.
"If the apparel makers receive attractive cash incentive support, then why not migrant workers?" she questioned.
The report showed that the number of skilled worker migration has decreased in 2022 compared to the previous year. As of December 21 this year, of the total outbound workers, 17.76 per cent were skilled workers.
On the other hand, 21.33 per cent of skilled workers went abroad in 2021.
Among the outbound Bangladeshis, the number of professionals is lower. However, it has slightly increased this year compared to last year.
As of December 21 this year, professionals, who went abroad with jobs, account for about 0.33 per cent of the total migrants. The number of professionals was 0.14 per cent in 2021, said the new report.
Some 99,684 women went abroad with jobs in the January-November period of this year. If the trend of outflow continues, the women's migration will increase nearly 35 per cent in 2022, more than that of previous year, it also said.
Quoting the US-based Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report-2022, RMMRU said though the migration cost has decreased slightly, it is still the highest in South Asia for Bangladeshi migrants.
It also said although the opening of the Malaysian market is a major development in the outgoing year, workers are still bearing the unethical migration cost. A section of recruiters continue this unethical practice.
Dr Kamal Uddin Ahmed, chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), attended the event.