Thursday, 20 January, 2022

Let not labour market shrink

Let not labour market shrink

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By balancing the payments, increasing foreign exchange reserves, enhancing national savings and increasing velocity of money, remittance has been playing a significant role in giving surprising resilience to the economic development of Bangladesh. It has created a new dimension in our economic development contributing about 35% of export earnings. Even, the coronavirus pandemic initially did not cut the pace as Bangladesh was identified as one of only three big economies, along with Pakistan and Mexico, which had increased in remittance in 2020. However, the continuation of that trend turned out to be difficult from the beginning of this year as the flow of remittance started to fall and may drop further in the future. The fact set alarm bells ringing for all.

According to the lead news of this daily’s yesterday issue, remittance has dropped significantly over the last few months due to the closure of several large labour markets and excessive dependence on a particular country that has been employing one-third of migrant workers since the beginning of exporting human resource in 1975. The report further stated that labour migration has been declining in the last four years because of the economic recession of the established destinations and the inability to create new markets. The market of the largest destination of Bangladeshi labour is also shrinking in recent years.

It is unfortunate that neither we could expand our labour market nor resume sending workers to some countries that closed down importing labours from our country for different reasons, including the allegation of corruption. Allegations are there that despite taking benefits from the sector and knowing the prospect of it, the authorities concerned did not take sufficient initiatives for the development of migrant workers or to expand the market.

However, better late than never. We must give due importance to properly unlocking the potential of the sector and utilising it properly to make it an indispensable tool of the economic development of Bangladesh. We already know the positive relationship between the remittance inflow variables and food consumption expenses, consumption experiences, and changes in economic conditions. If we want to make our huge population resource, making concentrated efforts by all concerned stakeholders is an imperative that, in return, will make our economy sustainable.