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30-40% of remittances coming through informal channels
[Source: The Daily Dhaka Tribune, Rabiul Islam: September 15, 2013; http://www.dhakatribune.com/economy/2013/sep/15/30-40-remittances-coming-through-informal-channels]

A study shows that around 30-40% of remittances to the country are coming through informal channels

Around 30-40% of remittances to the country are coming through informal channels, a recent study by Bangladesh Human Resource Development Centre (HRDC) says.

In the study titled “Remittance Contribution by the Bangladeshi Migrant Workers”, the HRDC also claimed that annual remittances can be raised to more than $4bn-$5bn if proper steps are taken by the government.

“We have interviewed many migrant workers at home and abroad and those who are engaged in hundi businesses [an informal non-banking channel of remitting money],” Asmar Osman, a research consultant at the HDRC told the Dhaka Tribune at his office recently. The HDRC, however, admitted that the study had been carried out on a limited scale.

According to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), Bangladeshi expatriates remitted $14.16bn in 2012 and $8.28bn up until July 2013. Researchers at the HRDC claimed that more than 30-40% of the remittances were sent through informal channels. According to the 2006 World Bank Global Economic Prospect Report, a total of 54% of remittances in Bangladesh were coming through informal channels.

Bangladesh Bank Deputy Director Md Shafiul Alam said the foreign exchange reserve would go up if more remittances came through formal channels.

“If we compare the growth of out-bound migrants and the growth of remittances, the remittances through formal channels increase,” the deputy director said.  

The researchers at HDRC said migrants in Saudi Arabia are compelled to remit through informal channels, as the Saudi government had set a limit. In many countries, there are a huge number of undocumented workers who cannot send money through banking channels, the researchers added. They suggested the government should negotiate with the countries so that the undocumented migrant workers can send money through banking channels.

 
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