It is a piece of welcoming news that remittance inflow has shown an upward trend. According to a report of yesterday’s Daily Sun, remittance, the second largest contributor to the country’s foreign exchange earnings after the readymade garments, recorded a 21.46 percent growth in April year-on-year.
But, unlike the RMG sector, it has long been suffering from many drawbacks and, as a result, the inflow of remittance is much lower than what should be. In fact, the country has the human resources which can be exploited for increasing remittance earning manifolds.It is encouraging to note that after two years of slowdown, the inflow of remittance is moving upwards. However, analysts have attributed this growth mainly to the recent appreciation of US dollar against taka and the imminence of Ramadan, when remittance inflow usually rises. Whatever are the reasons behind the growth, making it sustainable is very crucial.
It is worthy to mention that the use of illegal and informal channels for transferring money to Bangladesh is one of the major reasons why actual remittance earning is not properly counted. Regulatory action of the government against the illegal channels has resulted in positive outcomes. But, many other crucial initiatives for increasing remittance income still fall short of effective steps for implementation.
Notably, Bangladesh has huge exportable manpower, but the high cost of migration due to the widespread intervention of middlemen and brokers engaged in manpower export, the country cannot tap the full potential of manpower export. In many cases, brokers lure job seekers with the offer of good jobs and low-cost migration but finally hand over many of them to international human traffickers. Even a section of the manpower exporters is involved in forging travel documents and sending people abroad with fake papers.
Though many other countries in this region are earning a lot of foreign exchange through exporting technically sound manpower, Bangladesh is lagging behind them in this regard. Facilities for training in technical education and soft skills are very inadequate in comparison with the high number job seekers.
Effective steps are urgent for making the process of manpower export foolproof and affordable and ensuring easy access of job seekers to technical education. Also, stern action against foul-players in manpower business is the demand of the hour for making the upward trend in remittance earning sustainable.