20 June 2013, Dhaka. A Consultation on Significance of Remittance: Poverty Alleviation and Livelihood Development in Bangladesh was arranged by BRAC Migration programme on 20th June 2O13, from 2.45pm to 5:30pm at Auditorium, BRAC Center Inn, Dhaka. Practitioners, Academics, Economists, Researchers, Government officials, Service providers, Media and activists were present at the consultation.
The key Note on the consultation was presented by Dr. Mahabub Hossain, Executive Director, BRAC and was moderated by Sheepa Hafiza, Director, GJ&D and Migration Programme, BRAC.
The participants discussed about the importance of remittance in the country’s economy and development and also the importance of developing proper policies to manage the migration and remittance flow and how to maximise the use of remittance to decrease the poverty and create alternative livelihood option.
The Key Note speaker Dr. Mahabub Hossain mentioned in his key note presentation ‘Migration is considered as essential, inevitable and potentially beneficial component of economic and social life of individual household, as well as for economic progress of both sending and recipient countries′. He shared findings from his researches done in 1988, 2000, 2008 and 2010.
Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud, MP and Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee, Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment said ‘remittance is a net source of income for us, because migrants are sending the money home which they are generating at abroad; we should re think about our migrants workers security and benefit, they should be treated as hero but still we are not providing them the support we owe to them, we should ensure their safety and well-being and we need to provide them technical education rather than higher education to make them more equipped to work and earn better on migration More allocation should be kept in national budget.’
Zahid Hussain, Lead Economist, World Bank, Dhaka office, Bangladesh said, ‘Remittance is the no. 1 source of foreign currency. But as we generalize that migrants don’t invest in productive sectors, it’s not correct, they do invest on productive sector. Constraints of migration must be dropped.’
Zafar Sobhan, Editor, Dhaka Tribune said ‘We should not only be happy by considering the increasing amount of remittance as a success story but, we should also take it to account that, how the Bangaldeshi Migrants are vulnerable and victimized on migration and we should focus on how we can provide them more safety coverage and migration facilitation for them.’
Dasgupta Asim Kumar, Executive Director, Bangladesh Bank said, ‘Apart from Anti money laundering Act Bangladesh Bank has taken a lot of steps to increase remittance flow like establishing exchange houses, introducing mobile banking, establishing BACH, online banking, NPS. Now the beneficiaries’ are getting quicker remittance service and the remittance flow is increasing’.