Remittance likely to grow by 15.59pc this year

FE Report | Published: December 24, 2018 10:32:39 | Updated: January 13, 2019 16:54:43

Reuters file photo used for representational purpose

The country's inward remittance is expected to increase by 15.59 per cent in 2018 compared to that of the previous year, a trend report said.

Remittance showed such an upward trend as an increasing number of workers went abroad last year, said Tasneem Siddiqui, founding chair of Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU).

While presenting the report on Sunday, she said workers sent remittances worth US$ 14.34 billion during the January-November period of the current year.

"If the trend continues, the amount of total inward remittances may stand at about US$ 15.64 billion in 2018," she said, adding that usually workers start sending remittances one year after their migration.

That is why remittances increased this year despite a decline in the outflow of workers, she said.

The amount of remittances was US$ 13.53 billion in 2017, Ms Siddiqui said referring to the Bangladesh Bank data.

She also said there were several reasons such as exchange house rate, workers' job status, and economic conditions of employing countries behind an increase in remittances.

The report titled Pattern and Trends of Labour Migration 2018: Achievement and Challenges was released at a press conference at the city's National Press Club.

The report, however, projected that outbound jobs are set to decline by about 27 per cent in 2018 compared to that of the previous year.

The number of outbound workers dropped this year mainly due to dependency on few traditional markets, the RMRRU chief said.

She mentioned that Bangladesh mainly depended on Saudi Arabia and Malaysia in 2018. As these countries reduced recruiting workers, so the number of jobs dropped significantly.

Referring to the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET) data, Ms Siddiqui said a total of 614,585 Bangladeshi workers went different countries including those in Middle-East and Southeast Asian regions with jobs during the January-October period of the current year.

Bangladesh sent 1,008,525 workers abroad in 2017. "If such lower outflow continues until the end of this year, overseas jobs will drop about 27 per cent."

She mentioned that the number of women outbound workers also will drop 20.03 per cent in the current year. Due to workplace exploitation, a significant number of women workers returned home from Saudi Arabia.

Besides, she said, women aspirants feel discouraged to go abroad after getting the message about workplace harassment through media. In addition, the authority has tightened the selection process, she said.

Tasneem Siddiqui also suggested formalising the activities of middlemen to eliminate malpractices in this sector.

She urged the political parties to include the migrants' rights issues in their election manifestos and ensure their voting rights.

Jurist Dr Shahdeen Malik who chaired the programme said the government should stop sending workers to Saudi Arabia.

"The culture of this Arab country is not women- friendly. So, no initiative from manpower exporting countries will be helpful in protecting the women workers there."

Rather, he said, Bangladesh should send workers to the countries like Singapore and Japan where workplaces are women-friendly.

Replying to a query, Mr Malik said awareness should be created among the people so that they don't go to South Africa which is a crime-prone country.

He said Probashi Kallyan Bank (PKB) may also face the consequences of other state-owned banks which were involved with scams.

Marina Sultana, director programme at RMMRU, among others, was present at the event.

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