Staff Correspondent: Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal yesterday wholeheartedly thanked the expatriate Bangladeshi workers who are paying a piovital role towards the development of Bangladesh through sending their hard-earned remittance to their beloved motherland.
“The expatriate workers engaged in business and other jobs in abroad are sending their earned remittance to our country being imbued with patriotism. I thank them and express my gratitude to them while the countrymen would never forget their contributions,” he said.
The Finance Minister said this while responding to a question after chairing two separate meetings on the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) and the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP).
Responding to a question on the recent comment from a leading economist that the “magic of remittance may come to an end”, Kamal said, “Remittance is not a magic. The flow of remittance will never come to an end.”
Earlier on Sunday, Debapriya Bhattacharya, distinguished fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said the first month of the new fiscal year 2021-22 showed that remittances had sunk 28%, hence the magic weaved by remittance all these years for Bangladesh may be over soon.
Dr Debapriya made the remarks during a media briefing organized by the Citizen’s Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh where a report titled ‘Delivery of the National Budget 2021- in the Context of the Pandemic, Ensuring Interests of the Disadvantaged People’ was published.
In this connection, the Finance Minister alleged that a vested quarter has been advocating against the incentive on sending remittance when it was introduced back in 2019 as they then had commented that the high remittance flow was temporary and it would not be sustainable.
Highlighting some figures of remittance inflow, Kamal said that before the incentive was introduced on remittance, the inward remittance flow in FY19 totaled $13.1 billion, but it soon got momentum with the introduction of incentive totaling the inward remittance flow at $18.2 billion in FY20 and thus making a jump to make $24.78 billion in FY21.
“But, they (critics) will say that much more remittances have come and it was not right,” he said adding that the interested workers are still going abroad despite the pandemic availing various facilities extended by the government. The Finance Minister said more Bangladeshi workers would go abroad once the COVID-19 situation comes to normalcy worldwide.
He cited that the country got $567 million remittances from August 1-9 this month compared to $450 million fetched in August 1-9 last year. “Still growth in remittance is there. So, I’m doubtful about the patriotism of those who say that the time of remittance has come to an end.”
Replying to another question about the attainment of projected GDP growth target in the current fiscal year (FY22), the Finance Minister expressed his optimism about the attainment despite the pandemic.
He said although the provisional estimation of GDP growth for the FY20 was 5.24 percent, but it came down at 3.51 percent in the final estimation, even though it was the highest attainment in Asia. Extending his heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the countrymen for such feat, Kamal said many countries of the world suffered negative growth during that fiscal year. “In overall consideration, our position was at the top in Asia,” he added.
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