Remittance inflow to reach new high

The remittance inflow into the country is likely to reach a record $14 billion this year despite the Middle East crisis, Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said yesterday.

Last year, Bangladeshi expatriates sent home $12.17 billion. “We are trying to increase remittance that contributes to the national economy,” Mosharraf said at a press briefing at his ministry ahead of the International Migrants Day today.

The remittance inflow from January to November this year is $12.885 billion while it was $11.01 billion in the same period in 2010 and $10.71 billion in 2009, according to the Bangladesh Bank website.

Despite the worldwide economic recession, the remittance flow into Bangladesh remained almost unchanged as the government could arrange to send abroad a huge number of workers, the minister noted.

Around six lakh people now leave home every year for overseas jobs whereas only two lakh used to get work abroad per year during the tenures of the four-party alliance and caretaker governments.

Currently, more than 82 lakh are working in 145 countries, of which 75 began recruiting workers from Bangladesh after the Awami League-led grand alliance assumed power in 2008, Mosharraf said.

“It is our prime duty to ensure protection of the migrant workers. That is why we have moved to amend the Emigration Ordinance 1982 to discipline the manpower recruitment sector,” the minister added.

Talking about workers’ recruitment in Malaysia, he said the Malaysian government would send a demand letter to Bangladesh at the end of this month. Within three months since then Bangladesh would be able to send workers to Malaysia.

Only the governments of the two countries would be involved in the process, Mosharraf said, adding no third force would be allowed.

The Ministry of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment organised a three-day programme that began yesterday at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital on the occasion of the International Migrants Day.

Mosharraf inaugurated the programme with a roadshow at the city’s Eskaton. Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith will be present in the second day’s event as the chief guest. Today’s function includes rally, discussion, job fair, seminar, debate and cultural programme.

This year’s theme is “ain mene jabo bidesh, ortho ane gorbo swadesh (we will go abroad abiding by law, build our country with foreign money).”

Government and non-government organisations working with migrant workers have chalked out elaborate programmes to observe the day.

Two Tunisian female citizens — Narges Ben Manuka and Lutfy Jaziri, of an Islamic relief organisation of Tunisia, will be honoured for their contribution to protection of Bangladeshi migrant workers during the 2011 turmoil in their country, said Expatriates’ Welfare Secretary Zafar Ahmed Khan.

Besides, 48 children of migrant workers will be given scholarships, he said.

Source: The Daily Star