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Precautionary measures needed to check declining trend of remittance flow

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01st-Nov-2018       
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A RECENT study titled, 'Impact of Migration on Poverty and Growth in Bangladesh', has showed that  in terms of taka annual per capita remittance from the male migrants has fallen by 11 percent in 2017 compared to that in 2014. However, if it is adjusted to inflation, the drop would be 26 percent, a local daily reported on Tuesday. It said the annual remittance from male migrants, which was Tk 218,812 each in 2014, came down to Tk 193,885. The study-report was prepared from surveys covering 6,143 households in 20 districts in 2014 and in 2017. Interestingly, remittance from the female migrants rose by 1.5 percent from Tk 1,09,652 each in 2014 to Tk 1,11,271 last year. But if it is adjusted to inflation, the remittance would fall by 15 percent, the study said.
Bangladesh Bank data showed that remittance from migrants fell to $13.5 billion in 2017 from $14.9 billion in 2014. Experts opined that this was happened mostly because of abusive labour practices and economic slowdown in the Middle East and Southeast Asian countries. Presently, some 10 million Bangladeshis, including five lakh women, work in different foreign countries. The number of Bangladeshi migrants was about 4.26 lakh in 2014 but the number stood at 10.08 lakh last year.
There are several reasons for declining the remittance. But the major reason is that a large number of migrants send money home via informal channels as the cost of money transfer through formal channels is high.  Apart from this, at least 32 percent of the migrants either face joblessness abroad or don't get regular wages. Many of them return home after a few months. Often they have to pay high amounts for visa renewal --- these are also factors for declining per capita remittance.
No doubt, the rising uncertainties in Middle East and different western countries with respect to the extent of the tightening of US policies against migrants is discouraging migrants, especially male, to part with their savings so that they are not caught unprepared to face any unforeseen disruption in earnings.

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