National, Front Page

Massive steps taken to boost remittance

Published : 01 Dec 2022 09:54 PM

Bangladesh Bank has undertaken various initiatives to boost remittance inflows by overcoming different barriers including simplification, mobile banking and cost free services for remitters.

The Central has recently allowed mobile financial service (MFS) providers to bring inward remittance, in order to increase remittance inflow.

As part of its move, expatriates will send money themselves through the MFS without any document and free of cost with the shortage of time, which will encourage them to send money instead of illegal ‘Hundi’.

Abdur Rouf Talukder, governor of Bangladesh Bank, made the statements during his speech as the guest of honor at the opening session of the three-day Annual Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) conference on Post-Covid Challenges in an Uncertain and Divisive World at Lakeshore Hotel in the capital on Thursday.

The BB governor said, “We cannot get remittance as our potential due to many reasons specially illegal ‘Hundi’. Policing is not the proper way to reduce hundi but reducing cost is. We need to reform our fundamentals to boost remittance.” 

 The Central Bank has been working on different issues including allowing mobile financial service to bring inward remittance.

It will be functional from next year, he expects, hoping that the country will get remittance as it desires. 

“Bangladesh Bank has never imposed any import restrictions. It only hiked import duties on some luxury items. The Central Bank blocked some LCs due to over-invoicing and under-invoicing to control export-base money laundering and illegal ‘Hundi’,” he mentioned.

The inflation increased due to dependence on imports and an increase in the cost of production, he said, adding that the government is currently trying to reduce imports and increase production.

Rouf said Bangladesh is among the few countries which provided stimulus to prevent loss resulting from the pandemic. Bangladesh was one of the top 5 countries in terms of combatting Covid-19, he mentioned.

“Bangladesh Bank is unlikely to lift the interest rate cap on bank loans anytime soon. We are waiting for a good time. The interest cap will be lifted, but this is not the right time to withdraw it,” he added.

Planning Minister MA Mannan said as the chief guest at the event, the government is working for positive and more growth.

The Prime minister asked to increase the number and quality of research for development, he added.

We are focusing on different sectors including roads, primary education, agriculture and rural health to improve the economy, he said adding the government wants to increase the reserve. 

To stabilise the economy, he recommended removing limits on interest rates, leaving currency exchange rates upon the market system.

State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam said as the special guest of the programme that the GDP growth rate will exceed 7 percent in the current fiscal.

He said that the country is doing well in all indicators including private sector loans and Foreign direct investment (FDI).

However, in the context of current inflation, he recommended increasing the interest rate to 9-12 percent instead of 6-9 percent to protect the interest of the depositors.

Dr Binayak Sen, director general of the BIDS, said this at the annual BIDS conference on Post-Covid Challenges in an Uncertain and Divisive World which will continue for three days (1-3 December) at the Lakeshore Hotel in the capital.

The Annual BIDS conference on Development (ABDC) aims to engage the wider audience in charting the development agenda in the post-Covid period by bringing national and international scholars on a common platform through public lectures, academic presentations, book reviews, and panel discussion on socio-economic issues in Bangladesh, he added. 

A total of 13 academic papers, five book discussions, and 12 keynote speeches from home and abroad will be presented at the conference, he said.