Remittances to Bangladesh by its migrant workers continue to slide, dropping by 5.3 per cent in January this year on the back of declining numbers of migrant workers, reports claim.
The country received $1.25 billion in remittances last month against $1.32 billion in January 2013, according to data released by Bangladesh Bank. This is the sixth consecutive month of falling inflows.
“From July 2013 to January 2014, the first seven months of the current fiscal year, remittances amounted to $8 billion, a nine per cent drop from the same period last year,” the report says.
According to Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU), only 450,000 migrants managed overseas jobs in 2013, down by more than 33 per cent from 2012. Moreover, the decline is accompanied by a large number of returning migrants.
The RMMRU attributed the fall to the government’s failure to stimulate the labour markets in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait through diplomatic channels to make them accept Bangladeshi migrants. There are 501,357 Bangladeshi migrants working in Oman.
A report in the Dhaka Tribune newspaper pointed out that the number of Bangladeshi workers overseas peaked in 2008 — when about 875,000 workers went abroad — and has been in general decline ever since.
Besides, the flow of the portion of remittances sent for investment purposes might have fallen due to currency appreciation, as the value of taka rose six per cent against the US dollar over the last one year.
In its monetary policy statement last week, the central bank projected an overall negative growth of four per cent in remittances for the current fiscal year.