The Financial Express

Fall in remittance from Italy likely this year

| Updated: January 25, 2019 10:06:27

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Reuters file photo used for representational purpose Reuters file photo used for representational purpose

Remittance inflow may see a significant fall this calendar year for taxing expats' cash transfer by Italy, a major source of remittance earnings for Bangladesh.

Bangladeshi migrants send home $550-670 million every fiscal year from the European country, officials said.

The country bagged $662 million from Italy, the ninth-largest amount of such money among 30 nations in fiscal year (FY) 2017-18, according to the central bank data.

Bangladeshi workers started working in Italy in 1999.

But their number now stands at an estimated 55,518 till 2018, showed the data of the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training.

"We apprehend that remittance inflow may be less in coming months from Italy because of the imposition of tax," said a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank.

"So is the overall remittance earnings likely," he told the FE.

The Italian government introduced a 1.5 per cent tax on the hard-earned remittance back home by expatiates which took effect on January 01, 2019.

The Bangladesh embassy in Rome recently sent a letter to expatriate welfare and overseas employment ministry, seeking necessary steps to this end.

It voiced concern that remittance inflow through legal channel might fall from Italy in future for such larger tax imposition, a ministry source said.

The government here is already working on the issue. It is taking steps to overcome the situation.

Expatriate welfare ministry has sought necessary cooperation from finance ministry to take urgent measures in this connection.

Earlier, an expatriate could remit 999 euro from Italy a week by commissioning only 4-7 euro.

Now, the remitter has to count an additional 15 euro to send home 999 with existing charge that totals 22 euro.

Experts think Bangladeshi expatriates in Italy may have a tendency to send home money through illegal hundi and other channels to save remittance costs.

This trend might hit hard remittance earnings from the European country by the end of 2018, they opined.

Bangladesh received $374.11 million during the July-December period in the ongoing fiscal.

It bagged $510.78 million in FY 2016-17.

The country received $14.98 billion in remittance in FY 2017-18.

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