Bangladesh eases conditions for remittance incentives

  • Abdur Rahim Harmachi, Chief Economics Correspondent,
    Published: 2020-05-12 23:37:01 BdST


Bangladesh Bank has relaxed the conditions for incentives on the money sent by expatriate Bangladeshis to lift up the sinking flow of remittances amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The expatriate Bangladeshis need not show any paper for incentives on remittance up to $5,000 or Tk 500,000, the central bank said in a notice on Tuesday. The ceiling was Tk 150,000.

Those sending more than Tk 500,000 will have two months to submit the papers. The time currently is 15 days.

They will need to produce copies of their passports and appointment letters of their overseas employer to claim incentives. Those who own a business will require copies of their licences.

The expatriates who have already sent money will also get the facilities. These will be effective until Dec 31, 2020.

“We are giving the expatriates the facilities to encourage them to send more money,” Bangladesh Bank Executive Director Kazi Saidur Rahman said.

The government has been giving 2 percent incentives on remittances since July 1, 2019. It has allocated Tk 30.6 billion for the incentives in the budget for 2019-20 fiscal year.

The incentives led to a spike in remittance but inflow started to drop in March as hundreds of expatriates returned home due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has also left a vast number of the world population jobless.

Still, they sent $1.08 billion in April. Economists warned the amount will shrink further. The expatriates were possibly sending the money from savings or loans, researcher Ahsan H Mansur said.