After many years, the country has experienced a decrease in remittance, while overseas employment also fell compared to last year, a report by the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) has revealed.
At a press conference at Jatiya Press Club yesterday, the RMMRU expressed concerns over the decline, and termed 2013 a “bad year” for labour migration and remittance, because of the negative growth in both sectors.
According to the report, the country received $13.47bn until December 24 in 2013, while it was previously $14.17bn. Since 1976, the remittance growth had been sustained.
Overseas employment also fell drastically this year, with only four lakh workers migrating to different countries in 2013, compared to over six lakh workers going abroad in 2012.
The RMMRU, an affiliated organization of Dhaka University, blamed unskilled labour migration and lack of expansion of traditional markets as the main causes of negative growth in remittance and the fall in overseas employment.
While presenting the report, RMMRU Advisor Tasneem Siddiqui pointed out that although more remittance was now coming through formal channels, the growth was still negative, which was a matter of great concern.
Despite lauding the government initiative to send workers to Malaysia under the government-to-government system, Tasneem said the government had utterly failed to send an adequate quantity of workers, as only 1,000 workers have gone so far.
She mentioned Malaysia had required about five lakh workers, but the government could not lobby professionally to collect demand letters from the Malaysian employers. “As a result, Myanmar and Nepal seized the opportunity,” Tasneem said.
Expressing concern over the reduction of skilled migration, Tasneem said 34.45% skilled workers went abroad for jobs in 2012 but only 19.94% skilled workers had gone abroad in 2013.
Among others, RMMRU Chair advocate Shadheen Malik, and Manusher Jonno Foundation Executive Director Shaheen Anam were present at the press conference.