The remittance sent in through formal channels can be sent to the homes of the expatriates. Small interventions like these will encourage expatriates to send their remittance through legal channels
The entire 2.5 per cent incentive that the government is providing for overseas remittance, in no longer required. It can be reduced. There can be a 1 per cent incentive at the most, for the time and procedural complications involved in sending in the remittance.
In the forthcoming budget, the government can bring about certain structural changes in the channels through which remittance is sent. For example, the time spent in remitting the money can be decreased. Many expatriates complain that they face all sorts of hassles in sending remittance through formal channels. Attention must be paid to resolving these hassles. The remittance sent in through formal channels can be sent to the homes of the expatriates. Small interventions like these will encourage expatriates to send their remittance through legal channels.
The budget can also make clear what service will be provided to the expatriates at the airport, how they can be issued passports, how they can hire taxies upon their arrival and so on. The government must have a system in place to monitor whether they are receiving these facilities or not because we have many things in our planning which are not implemented.
The government departments involved in providing service to the expatriates must be made accountable. There is a need to give thought to changing our overall mindset towards the expatriates. The manner in which we behave with them bears a lot of significance. The expatriates too must cooperate from their side.
There are many expatriates who do not properly understand the required documents. They are unable to fill in the forms properly. They cannot be humiliated or neglected. If there can be a change in the overall management, then we can hope that the expatriates will be more responsible. This will have an impact on overseas remittance and manpower export.
* Selim Raihan is executive director, SANEM
* This column appeared in the print and online editions of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten by Ayesha Kabir for the English edition