They should not have to resort to illegal channels
The Covid-19 pandemic has halted economic activities around the world, and businesses have taken an unprecedented hit. In the face of this crisis, however, Bangladesh’s remittance earnings have stayed strong, and this is not only something to be proud of, but a silver lining amidst much dreary news of losses.
That is not to say expat workers have not been affected. Indeed, millions of expatriate workers lost their jobs and had to return home after the pandemic broke out. Nevertheless, our remittance game has outperformed all pessimistic expectations -- Bangladeshis sent home $2.6 billion in the month of July alone, which is the highest remittance received in the history of the nation. This has helped take our central bank’s foreign currency reserve to a record $37 billion.
To that end, credit must be given where it is due. A 2% cash incentive from the government may have played a role in encouraging expatriates to send more money through legal channels. This money, then, is now being counted as part of the official figure.
Moving forward, it is imperative to remove all the various obstacles that our workers abroad face while trying to send money home. They should not have to resort to illegal channels; it is incumbent upon the government to facilitate this process, and cut out all the confusion surrounding the matter.
For a long time, money sent home by our expat workers have formed the backbone of our economy. Even now, they are defying all the odds. Let us give Bangladeshi migrant workers the credit and the honour they are due.