Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has proposed to continue providing 2.0 per cent cash incentive on remittance income in the next fiscal year (FY2021-22), considering its substantial contribution to boost remittance inflow.
In addition, he said, the banks would initiate special package programmes to encourage expatriate Bangladeshis to send home their hard-earned money through the banking channel.
As of April this year, remittances inflow registered an increase of 40.1 per cent to US$ 22.75 billion.
"This enviable growth in remittances had been possible mainly due to the continuation of cash incentive at 2.0 per cent on expatriate income," said the minister in his budget speech in parliament on Thursday.
"This remarkable success in remittances has brought relief for us, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when we are going through uncertainty over the growth of exports due to global economic downturn," he said, recognising the contribution of the non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs).
He also informed the house that the government has set a target of sending 2.1 million workers abroad - an average of around 1,000 from each upazila - in the next three years.
He said that a total of 217,669 male and 21,934 female workers were employed abroad in 2020 despite the pandemic.
Apart from the traditional labour markets, Bangladesh has started sending workers to the new labour markets of East European countries such as Poland, Albania, Romania, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and in Asian countries of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Following the Overseas Employment and Immigration Act 2013, activities were underway to create a database for different professional categories for hiring workers from the databank.
However, the government proposed to increase allocation for the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment to Tk 7.02 billion for FY2021-22 from Tk 6.42 billion in the outgoing FY.
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