Expatriates’ trust on bank for remittance inflow emphasised


Staff Reporter :
Research organisation over migration, Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit-RMMRU said migrant workers’ confidence on banking sector has to be returned for increasing remittance.

“Migrant workers prefer sending their earnings home through hundi – an illegal cross-border transaction system – due to a hassle-free higher exchange rate, and a lack of confidence on the banking channel,” RMMRU Founding Chair Dr Tasneem Siddiqui said it while revealing a report on migrant workers for 2023 at a press conference in the National Press Club on Wednesday.

Sending expatriates’ income through hundi has caused the inflow of remittance to slip, the country’s foreign exchange reserves to suffer serious pressure, and the macroeconomic stability to dwindle, she said.

As per the RMMRU report, in 2023, the number of Bangladesh’s migrant workers increased by 13 per cent, but remittance increased by only 2.88 per cent when compared year-on-year. Moreover, the inflow of remittance did not increase from key destination countries in the concluding year.

She added, “As per Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) data, around 13.05 lakh Bangladeshi workers went abroad in 2023, which is the highest in the last 48 years, and it is a milestone for the country.”

This trend is not only seen in Bangladesh, rather, the scenario is observed in every country of the South Asian region. The year-on-year growth was 300 per cent in Nepal in 2022, she added.


Besides, though a huge number of workers migrated, the remittance inflow is only up a lesser amount. Remittance inflow from Saudi Arabia decreased year-on-year by 3.9 per cent in 2023, despite 38 per cent of the total workers migrating to this country in the same period.

Saudi Arab was the highest remittance source of Bangladesh during 2010 to 2022, while it slipped to second position in the concluding year.

To boost remittance inflow, the government can increase incentive against remittance to 10 per cent for low-earning migrant workers, and should raise confidence in the banking system, as well as increase investment opportunities for near terms.

Attending as the chief guest, Full Time Member of the National Human Rights Commission Md Selim Reza stressed on quality migration, and diversification and expansion of migrant countries and sectors.

He said, “The government and recruiting agencies should focus on diversification of the market, along with expansion of the traditional migration market.”