The remittance flow may fall in 2021 as the migration flow has decreased around 71.45 percent this year than the previous year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Refugee and Migratory Movement Research Unit (RMMRU) raised the concern in a virtual press conference titled 'Pattern and Trends of Labour Migration 2020: Achievements and Challenges' on Tuesday.
RMMRU founding chair Dr Tasneem Siddiqui said, "Immigration was expected to increase by 3.52% this year if the migration trend of March-2020 continued. But due to the impact of the pandemic, the flow of immigration is about 71.45 percent less compared to the last year."
"There is no reason to think that all immigrants are doing well as remittances are increasing in legal ways. Remittances are always cumulative. Those, who go abroad this year, start sending regular remittances from next year. As so many people could not go abroad this year, it could have a negative impact on next year's remittance flow," she added.
More than seven lakh newly recruited Bangladeshis went abroad last year, while only 1.81 lakh had gone till March this year, said the RMMRU chair.
However, Dr Tasneem said, "When the covid-19 situation will be normal, our labour market would get a normal trend. Because, there would be a demand for workers in the cleaner, housemaid, and construction category."
"Besides, some new labour markets are opening for us like Romania, Poland, China, Cambodia," she added.
According to a prediction by the World Bank, the remittance income would decrease down to $1,400 crore which is 25 percent less than that of 2019, mentioned RMMRU.
As of November 2020, migrant workers had sent Tk19.69 billion in remittances.
If this trend of remittance flow continues, the amount of remittances will increase by 17.05 percent as compared to last year.
In 2019, the amount of remittances was 18.33 billion US dollars.
So this prediction of the World Bank did not work for Bangladesh, said RMMRU.
However, RMMRU mentioned some reasons behind the rising trend of remittance this year.