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Downtrend in remittances from expatriates PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 17 September 2008

According to reports from Bangladesh Bank, remittances from expatriate Bangladeshis have fallen by about Taka 600 crorer between July and August this year. The key reason cited for such a drastic fall, in remittances, is the unrest created centering Bangladeshi workers in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia over the last few months which led to the expulsion of some 1500 Bangladeshi workers from these two countries. Although the numbers expelled are not very significant yet it is a source of uncertainty and lack of confidence on the Government of Bangladesh to look after the interests of its own citizens working abroad . That uncertainty and lack of confidence is perhaps leading expatriate Bangladeshis to slow down on sending back home the money they usually send. Foreign currency is the crux of the problem; a sudden severe lack of it reduces the Government's and Nation's ability to import essential goods and services from abroad. If imports of fuels, raw materials and machineries are reduced, industries have to cut back on their productions reducing the availability of goods for internal consumption as well as for exports. Further, lack of imports of certain goods such as fertilizers & fuels will directly affect our agriculture's ability to produce enough food for the entire populace. So, there will be a two-toned effect on the entire economy: on the one side there will be recession, that is slow down in all economic activities leading to less production of goods and services; on the other side there will be higher inflation as less goods and services will be unable to meet up demands pushing prices higher outstripping people's abilities to afford essential goods and services particularly food commodities. In affect, the lack of sufficient foreign currency could turn our entire fragile economy on its head and since most of this foreign currency is coming from our citizens working abroad, we need to be really careful in not upsetting this "apple's cart".

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