The number of Bangladeshi nationals migrating to different countries around the world has seen a 34.15% increase this year, but remittance inflow dropped around 0.89% compared to last year, says a report of the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU).
It said that in last 11 months (January-November), 931,832 workers had migrated to Middle East and Arab countries against last year’s total of 757,731.
RMMRU unveiled the Annual Migration Trends Report-2016 (Patterns and Trends of Labour Migration 2017: Achievements and Challenges) at a press conference at the National Press Club in Dhaka on Thursday.
Presenting their findings, Prof Tasneem Siddiqui, founding chair of RMMRU, said remittance inflow stood at $12.37 billion (about Tk1,02,215 crore) between January and November.
The amount was lower than last year’s receipts, which was $13.61 billion (about Tk1,12,461 crore), by 0.89%, she said.
Bangladesh has witnessed a declining trend in remittance inflow despite a rise in labour migration for the second consecutive year. The country had received $15.11 billion (around Tk1,24,856 crore) in 2015, reports UNB.
According to the RMMRU report, low oil price and tightening of fiscal policies in the Gulf and other Arab countries, Brexit, fraudulence in current migration system, fall in prices, growing number of returnees of migrants, and major changes in the Islami Bank's board of directors had contributed to the fall.
This year, 513,862 Bangladeshis migrated to Saudi Arabia, while 83,169 and 83,016 went to Malaysia and Oman, respectively, said Siddiqui, also a teacher at Dhaka University's Political Science Department.
She said that 103,034 people from Comilla went abroad in the past 11 months, which was the higher than the other areas of the country and nearly 10.62% of the total migrated people.
"Sending nearly one million migrant workers to different countries in a year is really a major success in the labour migration sector," she said.
She said some 113,009 women had migrated to different countries in 2017, which was about 12.1% of the total migration and 4.6% higher than last year's, reports UNB. "This is a very positive development."
Quoting data collected from the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), Siddiqui said although more than 11 million Bangladeshis went abroad with jobs since 1976, there was hardly any information on the number of workers who had returned since then.
Citing the findings of a RMMRU study, she said around 44% workers returned home for various reasons, including lack of jobs.
Mentioning that the government and commercial banks play major roles in collecting remittance, she said Islami Bank had long been playing the lead role in this regard. "Around 19.31% remittance came through Islami Bank this year which was over 30% in the previous years. The change in its board of directors has badly affected the remittance collection."
Of the total amount of remittance, 17.15% came from Saudi, 15.97% from the UAE, 13.77% from the US, 7.53% from Malaysia and 7.38% from the UK, according to the report.
The fraudulent practices in the process of migration were also adversely affecting the migrant worker's income, Siddiqui observed.
Though people were being subjected to deception by giving money for migration, she said most of them were unwilling to go to court to avoid long legal procedure. "They prefer mediation to recover their money."