Expatriates should not depend on hundis, says Hasina

The prime minister asks officials to create facilities for Bangladeshi migrant workers so that more easily send money home through legal means

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 28 July 2022, 11:56 AM
Updated : 28 July 2022, 11:56 AM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked officials to create facilities for Bangladeshi migrant workers so that they can legally and more easily send money home.

The prime minister spoke on the matter after joining the inauguration ceremony of 24 technical training centres, including the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Centennial TTC, via video conferencing from the Ganabhaban on Thursday.

She asked the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment to launch easier remittance transfer facilities for expatriate Bangladeshis.

"I know they work in many places, but they do not have bank or money exchange facilities to send money home via banks. They have to depend on hundis," Hasina said.

Bangladesh earns more than 6 percent of its GDP from the earnings of migrant workers as remittances. It is the biggest source of the country's foreign currency income after exports.

But the inflow of foreign currency has stalled recently in many countries around the world amid an economic crisis and unstable global market due to the Russia-Ukraine war and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Remittance income fell to $21.03 billion in June, which is 15.12 percent lower than the previous fiscal year.

Bangladesh is facing a shortage of dollars as remittance income drops amid the pressure of paying higher import duties. The exchange rate of the dollar, the main currency used in the country's foreign trade, has been shooting upwards due to high demand and supply constraints.

"There are some people and opposition party agents, both in the country and abroad, who encouraged expatriates to use hundis instead of banks. They benefited from this and grabbed a large amount of money from migrant workers," said the prime minister, stressing the importance of sending money home through legal means.

"Sending money through the banks is safe. You may get a little more or less, but the money will be deposited safely in the bank. You can transfer the necessary money to your family from there and the rest of it will be deposited safely."

She asked the Probashi Kalyan Bank authorities to launch branches and money exchange facilities in countries where Bangladeshi migrants were working to ease the process after discussing the measures with the central bank and the Ministry of Finance.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher