Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has said at least 2,84,000 workers from Bangladesh joined their workplaces in overseas during the coronavirus pandemic till October 15.
The minister said the number of expatriates who returned to workplaces during the period is 26 per cent higher than the same period of last year.
“This indicates that we don’t need to be much worried about inward remittance. Our government has been supporting the returnee expatriates to send them abroad back with jobs within the shortest possible time,” he added.
Kamal also informed that 1,95,698 Bangladeshi expatriates returned home from different countries by October 15.
The finance minister came up with the statement while addressing a virtual round-table meeting on Wednesday as part of the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and IMF, reports BSS.
Considering the Covid-19 impacts, the finance minister said the World Bank and others projected that the amount of inward remittance would be decreased worldwide including Bangladesh. “However, I am glad to share with you that the scenario is much more optimistic for us,” he said.
Kamal said the inward remittances in Bangladesh always showed an upward trend and recently it has been accelerated.
“We have received highest ever remittance amounting $18.2 billion in 2019-2020. During the first quarter of the current fiscal year (2020-2021), inward remittances recorded $6.71 billion, which is 49 per cent higher than the same quarter of the previous year, thanks to the 2 per cent direct cash incentive policy of our government. Remittances didn’t decrease at all, rather increased enormously.”
The finance minister mentioned that the government has arranged social protection programmes including a food stamp of $1.3 million for the returnee expatriates during the COVID-19 holidays in April and May.
“The returnees, who lost jobs in abroad are enlisted for $83 million budgetary rehabilitation programme and they are also included in other social protection schemes,” he informed.
Kamal said in the current fiscal year, the government allocated Taka 20.00 billion equivalent to $240 million for specific social protection targeting the future potential expatriate workers.
He said employment generation programmes will be implemented through four specialised banks. The objective of the programmes is to facilitate the potential workers to get overseas jobs smoothly in a faster way for overcoming the COVID-19 shock.
Seeking continued support from the World Bank to move forward the country’s economy, the finance minister urged the lending agency to give a token of recognition and appreciation for the Bangladeshis who contribute to the total turnaround of the country’s economy.