The Financial Express

BD expats suffer for inadequate remittance points abroad

| Updated: February 06, 2019 21:07:54

Picture used for representational purpose — Via UNB Picture used for representational purpose — Via UNB

Bangladeshi overseas workers have been suffering a serious setback when remitting their hard-earned money due to inadequate number of agent points in their destination countries.

Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates are the major sources of remittance earnings for Bangladesh.

But there are inadequate remittance agents or collection points of the Bangladeshi commercial banks in those countries, a finance ministry official said.

For this, the migrants have difficulty in sending their hard-earned remittance back home, he added.

It now takes at least three days to receive cash by the beneficiaries of the expatriates due to weekly holidays on Fridays and Saturdays here.

The senders often use mobile banking, illegal hundi and other channels for remittance, the official said.

The remittances made through illegal methods remain out of the banking channels, he added.

He, however, said steps should be taken to supply cash to the relatives of the expatriates on weekly holidays.

The official said Bangladeshi migrants send home remittance using different methods like spot cash and account credit.

A senior official of the ministry said, "We recently discussed ways to increase agent/collection points to facilitate remittance back home free of cost by migrants. We're working on the issue."

He, however, said a plan is well underway to increase agent/collection points as early as possible.

There are 36 exchange houses and offshore branches of local banks, according to the Bangladesh Bank (BB).

Bangladeshi banks have 1,177 drawing arrangements with 215 money transfer companies and foreign banks, according to a finance division document.

The country received $14981.69 million in remittance in fiscal year (FY) 2017-18.

Of the total amount, it bagged $9232.25 million from the top five destinations, with Saudi Arabia being the largest source of remittance.

Non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) living in the kingdom sent $2591.58 million in FY '18.

The UAE, the USA, Malaysia and the UK were the second, third, fifth and sixth largest sources of remittance among 30 nations in FY '18, according to the BB data.

An estimated 10 million Bangladeshi workers are employed abroad and they remit $15 billion, on an average, a year to help boost the foreign currency reserve.

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