In an effort to boost the flow of remittances through legal channels, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has sought advice and innovative ideas from economists and experts in this field.
The government is open to any constructive suggestions to enhance remittance inflow and is committed to swiftly implementing them, he says.
During the first session of the Public Finance Management Summit 2023 held at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka yesterday, Minister Mustafa Kamal emphasised that an increase in inward remittances would mitigate the foreign exchange crisis and address various other issues in the country.
He stressed the need for reforms in the sector to boost remittance inflow through legal channels, with a particular emphasis on monetary and fiscal policies.
He also highlighted the importance of closely monitoring remittances coming to rural areas and fostering innovative ideas to increase remittances sent by expatriates.
Mustafa Kamal added that despite a significant number of Bangladeshis going abroad alongside about one crore others who are already residing in foreign countries, Bangladesh has not achieved its remittance target in recent times.
Regarding inflation, he noted that the current inflation rate is high. However, the government has taken up all types of measures to control inflation.
In August this year, Bangladesh received remittances amounting to $1.5994 billion, which was a 21.48% decrease compared to the previous month when expatriate Bangladeshis sent home $1.9731 billion. However, the number of Bangladeshi workers going abroad for employment has increased.
The Public Finance Management Summit, organised jointly by the finance ministry and the Dhaka office of the World Bank, saw various recommendations for reforming economic management in the government. Dr Md Khairuzzaman, the finance secretary, delivered the welcome address at the summit.
During the event, Abdoulaye Seck, country director of the World Bank in Bangladesh, emphasised the necessity of government reforms in public finance management for transparency and accountability.
He commended Bangladesh's economic progress over the past decade and encouraged the government to ensure the safety and financial security of senior citizens. He also called for a reduction in poverty rates and better management of financial and government resources.
Speaking at the first session of the summit, Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder mentioned that government employees should also develop professional skills for public finance management reforms. They need to be skilled in a specific area, he observed.
Planning Secretary Satyajit Karmakar emphasised the need for these reforms in the context of the Seventh Five-Year Plan's implementation.
Former Controller and Auditor General Muslim Chowdhury stated that transparency and accountability must be ensured in local government financing for the sake of financial management reforms in the government.