Dhaka, Bangladesh
Kamal foresees milestone in remittance growth

Kamal foresees milestone in remittance growth

News Report Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal hoped that the country’s remittance growth would reach a milestone in the current fiscal. The rate of remittance increased to 16.59 percent during the first quarter (July-September) of the current fiscal (2019-20) while it was 14.09 percent during the same period of the previous fiscal, he added. The finance minister revealed the figures in parliament on Thursday while placing a report on the budget- implementation progress of the first quarter (July-September) of the fiscal 2019-20, the trend of income and expenditure, and macroeconomic analysis. “As the government has decided to give 2 percent incentives on the income of expatriates, the remittance growth has increased significantly, and I hope that a milestone will be achieved in the sector in the future,” he said. Highlighting the key macroeconomic indicators during the July-September of the current fiscal, Kamal said the overall public expenditure increased by 15.3 percent during the first quarter of the current fiscal, compared to the same period of previous fiscal 2018-19. The implementation rate of the Annual Development Programme (ADP) increased to 8.3 percent, with 23.3 percent growth of its implementation, during the first quarter of the current fiscal, while the rate was 7.9 percent during the same period of last fiscal, he said. The finance minister said the export earnings stood at US$ 9.65 billion in the first quarter of the current fiscal, which was 2.94 percent less from the same period of the previous year. The export earnings of the country declined due to global economic meltdown and volatility, and the government continues efforts to increase export earnings by taking proper measures, he said. Kamal said the foreign exchange reserve remains stable while it was US$ 31.83 billion on September 30, 2019. The import payments decreased by 2.55 percent to US$ 14.32 billion, he said, adding that the situation was created as the import of goods declined a little bit. The finance minister said the growth for opening import LCs decreased by 4.73 percent. The annual inflation decreased to 5.49 percent in September 2019 from 5.68 percent in September 2018, he said. On the other hand, Kamal said, the point-to-point inflation increased to 5.54 percent in September 2019 from 5.43 percent in September 2018. Expatriate Bangladeshis sent around US$ 957 million remittances during the first fifteen days of January in the fiscal 2019-20. The country received around $843 million remittances during the first 15 days of the last month in the fiscal. “The flow of remittances into the country shows upward trend in the current fiscal 2019-20 as the government has taken measures, including two percent cash incentive, to streamline the legal channel for encouraging non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) to send money to the country,” central bank’s spokesperson M Serajul Islam said this recently. He said the recent flow of remittance indicates that it is gradually increasing and this trend is likely to continue in the upcoming months. According to the BB data, the country received $1687.15 million in December, $1,555.23 million in November, $1,641.67 million in October, $1,476.91 million in September, $1,444.75 million in August and $1,597.69 million in July of the fiscal 2019-20. But in 2018-19, the country got $1,206.91 million in December, $1,180.44 million in November, $1,239.11 million in October, $1,139.11 million in September, $1,411.05 million in August and $1,318.18 million in July. Meanwhile, a total of 66 lakh 33 thousand 254 trained workers got employments abroad in the last one decade from 2009 to 2019 and they sent around $ 153.13 billion remittance, according to statistics placed by Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad in the parliament on Tuesday. “Since 2009, the present government has been imparting training in skill development in two phases under 55 trades through a total of 70 training centers including six institutes of marine technology and 64 technical training centers,” he said, in reply to a question from Jatiya Party MP Begum Salma Islam. Besides, training is being imparted in five languages including Arabic, Korean, English, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin) and Japanese, Imran said. He informed the House that as per the electoral pledge of the government, a work plan has been adopted to set up technical training centers at every upazila with a view to creating job opportunity for 1000 youths on an average in every upazila of the country. As part of that, at present works of setting up 40 technical training centers in 40 upazilas are underway while the work of formulating DPP to build 60 more centers in 60 upazilas is at the final stage, he added. Imran said the ministry has created overseas employment opportunities for women workers in different decent professions including caregiver, domestic-work and driving. In response to another question of opposition BNP MP Golam Mohammad Siraj, the minister said Bangladeshi workers are being sent in 173 countries so far. Sending of workers does not remain stopped in any Middle East countries where Bangladesh used to send workers, he added. Imran informed the House that Bangladesh sent 2,57,317 and 3,99,000 workers to Saudi Arabia in 2018 and 2019 respectively while 76,560 and 50,292 to Qatar, 27,637 and 12,299 to Kuwait, 72,504 and 72654 to Oman, 3235 and 3318 to the UAE and 811 and 133 to Bahrain. Replying to another question of treasury bench MP Haji Md Selim, the minister said huge number of workers is being sent abroad through private organization. According to BMET, through engaging private organizations in immigration process, a total of 51 lakh 99 thousand 212 workers got employments abroad in the last 8 years.

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