Top 10 remitters to be rewarded each year: NRB database launched

Bangladesh Bank (BB) will reward ten top remitters every year to encourage Non-Resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) to send home their hard-earned money for the development of the country.

BBB Governor Dr. Atiur Rahman Monday launched NRB (non-resident Bangladeshi) Database Web Link to help get connected with central bank, promote and uphold investment information and make it as hub for the NRBs.

“I’ve instructed officials concerned to take necessary measures to honour top remittance senders from this year,” said the BB Governor.

Describing the NRBs as national heroes of Bangladesh, the Governor said NRBs must be respected because of their contribution for the country’s economy.

Bangladesh is one of the top remittance-earning countries in the world and it received $14 billion worth remittance in 2012.

The launching programme was held at Bangladesh Bank head office in the city . The programme was attended by a number of NRBs including Mobarak Hossain from Bahrain, Subrata Kumar from Canada, Hosne Ara from Italy, Founder of Center for NRB Foundation ME Chowdhury Shamim and Deputy Governor of BB Naznin Sultana.

Executive Director of BB Sudhir Chandra Das and Ahsan Ullah spoke at the event.

bbMentioning the highest-ever remittance of US$ 17 billion, governor Dr. Atiur Rahman said BB took the initiative to acknowledge NRB’s contribution to the country and economy.

The Database would also collect information of NRBs and maintain them in NRB database. This database will help BB to communicate with them and make a communication channel for themselves.

For Bangladesh Bank, this database helps to promote and uphold investment information arranged for NRBs by government, proper remittance channel and method, important financial or economic moves of government in which NRBs can participate. They can submit complaint, query or feedback. And also use this database to link between themselves and search other NRBs according to country, profession etc.

Dr. Atiur Rahman said most of the money sent by NRBs go in various unproductive sector or mere consumption.

“The Database and the central bank would offer the honourable expatriates suggestion, logistics and financial products so that they can invest their hard-earned money in profitable projects,” he said.

The governor urged NRBs to invest more in the country’s industry.

ED Ahsan Ullah said NRBs who do white colour jobs send less money than low grade job. He urged to include NRBs from all classes in the Database so that everybody has reach to the central bank service.

Sudhir Chandra Das said currently 50 per cent of total remittance comes in the country through formal channel, the rest come through informal channel. He urged all NRBs to send money in formal channel.

Meanwhile, NRB Bank Ltd, sponsored by a group of non-resident Bangladeshi entrepreneurs is looking to finance in promoting different local industries as brands abroad, reports the Financial express (FE).

“For example, we can finance in setting up showrooms of the country’s industries including the RMG in the global cities like New York, London and Paris; it will promote the Bangladeshi industries and image overseas,” Iqbal Ahmed OBE, Chairman of the bank, told the FE in an interview Monday.

“Our bank will be distinctive from other banks in the delivery of innovative services, and we will provide better facilities to the NRBs in terms of overseas investment with the permission of the central bank,” he said.

The NRB Bank wished to work to facilitate the Bangladeshi diaspora to invest in Bangladesh, and Bangladeshi individuals to get access the international market, said Mr Ahmed, also one of the most celebrated business personalities of Bangladeshi origin in the UK.

Another aim of the new generation private sector bank is to facilitate the Bangladesh’s new generation, who are established abroad and intends to do business in Bangladesh, in making their investment vision a success. To do so, Mr Ahmed expressed his wish to work with the Board of Investment (BoI).

Elaborating the bank’s passion to work for the NRBs, the chairman said some projects have already been developed in this connection. Such as many Bangladeshi organisations in England wanted to work with the health care, education and wished to set up small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as well as tourism development works. The bank will finance them.

“Actually, we want to build bridge between the Bangladesh and NRBs,” Mr Ahmed said, adding that they will apply the knowledge of advanced banking in the growing Bangladesh market.

“Overall, the NRB Bank will contribute to the growing economy of Bangladesh,” he said adding that apart from the NRBs, the bank will serve the general people here equally.

“I dream of unlocking a new horizon to the Bangladesh economy by facilitating NRB inward investment to Bangladesh and assisting Bangladeshi enterprises to access international markets”, he said.

To materilise all the vision, the bank recruited and selected highly skilled and efficient officials, he said, adding that “We are trying to bring new product and knowledge from the western world in Bangladesh.”

Other services will include carrying the remittances of the NRBs to their relatives at home smoothly.

“Locally, we will work to contribute to the SMEs, jute, frozen foods and agro-based industries to help the country witness better economic growth ,” he said.

Especially, he pledged to work to find the SME entrepreneurs and encourage them to contribute.

While elaborating the tagline “Not just another bank”, the chairman said that their bank is different from other banks. They are here to launch creative and innovative products, and wanted to create new image of Bangladesh in the international market.

In a query about the recent ‘excess liquidity’ in the country’s banking sector, Mr Ahmed attributed the problem to the turbulence in terms of utility services and infrastructure comparing with the growth, and political instability. The government should come forward to overcome the issue.

Regarding the ‘higher cost of borrowing’, the NRB Bank chairman said the government should consider the issue of reducing the lending rate so that the local entrepreneurs are encouraged towards investment, which will also help resolute the excess liquidity problem.

Mr Iqbal Ahmed received the highest and most prestigious recognition to date when he was awarded an OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in 2001 for his services to international trade from Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.