It is heartening to learn that the robust remittance inflow has kept the country’s economy strong despite the global economic meltdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The country has earned a record US$21 billion in remittance till December 17, this year, which was US$18.33 billion of the past year. The credit goes to our hardworking expatriates who are remitting money home. The government also deserves praise for the strong inflow in remittance as it has decided to give two per cent cash incentive against inward remittance.
But let us salute our expatriate workers for their hard work and contribution to national economy. Their widened income opportunities in service sector during the pandemic and a tendency of remitting their savings due to prevailing uncertainty in the host countries are the other factors that boosted the remittance flow.The importance of foreign remittance in the country’s economic growth is widely recognised and requires little reiteration. Their contribution is an essential economic lifeline for Bangladesh, which in recent years has reduced poverty to some extent. But, what about these remittance warriors, who are striving to bring in foreign currency defying all odds?
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has profoundly affected them. They have faced a large-scale job loss, salary reductions, and increase in deportations from the host countries. Above all, their sudden loss of income has adversely affected their families. The returnee workers had to suffer a lot at every stage of their return journey due to various reasons, including inefficiency and sheer indifference on the part of the officials of Bangladesh missions abroad.
As they are in dire straits, they need financial support for their reintegration. However, the government has reportedly allocated funds for their engagement in economic activities. The fund is also intended to train the migrants so that they can find better jobs abroad once the situation returns to normal.
But it is unfortunate to state that most frequently these initiatives falter at the implementation stage. So, the administration must have to remain extra-cautious so that the initiatives are implemented in a proper manner. It will help address some of the difficulties being faced by the returnee migrants who keep the wheels of development moving.