Remittance on the decline

Remittance’s slide continues for the third straight month in Bangladesh, after the month of October saw receipts decline 8.18 per cent year-on-year to $1.01 billion.

Migrant workers sent home $4.26bn in the first four months of the fiscal year, down 17.31pc year-on-year.

The decline in oil price, which dropped to its historic low in January this year from its historic forexhigh in the middle of 2014, affected incomes in the Gulf Cooperation Council economies, weakening the demand for migrant workers.

The bonus and overtime payment have decreased. Their per capita income has gone down while their living cost has gone up, which has cut into their savings, said Zahid Hussain, lead economist of the World Bank’s Dhaka office, last month.

The declining remittance comes despite a significant increase in the number of Bangladeshi workers abroad, said the World Bank Bangladesh Development Update report.

The number of workers going abroad reached 6.8 lakh in fiscal 2015-16, up 48pc year-on-year.

About 71.3pc of the migrant workers went to the GCC countries: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The six countries are among the top 11 remitters to Bangladesh so far in the current fiscal year. They were also among the top 10 countries in the last fiscal year, according to Bangladesh Bank.

In fiscal 2015-16, remittance fell 2.54pc year-on-year to $14.93bn, despite a significant rise in migrant outflow in the previous two fiscal years.

Remittance sent by migrant workers plays a crucial role in the country’s economy, helping reduce the overall incidence of poverty as well as maintaining a healthy balance of payments.

UN funding on decline

The United Nations funding for Bangladesh is declining.

The country will receive $1.22bn in the next four years beginning 2017 from $1.76bn in the previous five years.

This was revealed at the signing ceremony of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework 2017-2020.

Economic Relations Division Senior Secretary Mohammad Mejbahuddin and UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh, Robert Watkins, signed the agreement.

We are going to get a little less from the UN this time, Mejbahuddin said at the NEC auditorium of the Planning Commission yesterday.

The government will take up and scale up projects now funded by the UN that are making solid contributions to the national development.