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About 50pc remittance comes thru’ hundi

04 August 2022

Staff Reporter :
About 50 percent of Bangladeshi expatriates prefer to send their hard earned money through illegal channels popularly known as 'hundi'.
Despite government's multiple initiatives including incentives against remittance to encourage expatriates, the trend is not declining rather, experts said, it is increasing.
Financial experts opined that the sending of remittance through illegal means do not contribute to the country's foreign reserves, which ultimately show poor figure of reserves.
They also said that the expatriates get much higher price of green bucks in the kerb markets. So, they send their remittances through the unauthorized channels.
An expartiate staying in Malaysia on condition of anonymity told The New Nation that his family sometimes need urgent money before sending money from abroad.
"As my family needs advance money I prefer the hundi brokers who give the money to my family. When I get salary I refund them through hundi which is not possible through legal channels," he added.
However, the government hoped that the price of the US dollar in the country will come down soon and urged the Bangladeshi expatriates to send their remittances from abroad through official channels.
"Some 51 percent of the remittances that come to the country through legal channels and 49 percent  come through hundi," Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal told journalists after the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs and the Cabinet Committee on Government Procurement on Wednesday.
When whether hundi has increased or not, he said, "We all want remittances from abroad through official channels. Legitimate money actually has a record everywhere, it can be held accountable. But there are hundi. Currently there is no statistics on what percentage of money is coming through hundi."
"It is a huge number. The country and all those who earn this money from abroad will benefit if the remittances were through legal channels . That is why remittances are being encouraged through legal channels from the highest level of the government," he added.
The rise of inflation in the country is due to the increase in the price of goods in the international market the Finance Minister said adding that inflation may return to normal within the next two to one month.
 "Inflation in Europe was 5.1 percent last January which rose to 7.4 percent in April and further increased to 7.9 percent in July. Inflation is rising across Europe. It can be said that inflation in European countries has increased by 75 percent. The inflation in the country has increased as many products are bought from those countries," the minister added.
"Bangladesh's inflation was 12.3 percent when Awami League took office in the fiscal year 2008-09. Since then, the government has been going through many ups and downs. With the latest being coronavirus pandemic and the Ukraine-Russia war. In spite of this, the economy of the country is good. Very soon the country's economy will return to its previous state," he further said.
Mustafa Kamal said that there is no scope to increase the interest rate in Bangladesh, he said in reply to a query.
"That is why inflation is controlled through different types of management. Various initiatives have been taken to control imports including increasing duty, and increasing LC margin," he added.
The Cabinet Committee on Procurement has approved one proposal from the Ministry of Commerce and two from the Ministry of Industry - amounting to a total Tk764.20 crore.

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