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Govt yet to release fund for remittance incentive

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:00, Sep 22,2019

 
 

The finance ministry is yet to release fund for giving cash incentives to the beneficiaries of inward remittances even though two-and-a-half months of the current fiscal year 2019-2020 has already elapsed.

Prompted by the delay, the central bank, for the second time, had asked the ministry to release the fund, Bangladesh Bank officials said last week.

BB issued its second demand letter to the ministry as the government refrained from fund release in response to its first request made in mid-August this year, they said.

It might be the procedural delay of the ministry in releasing the money,’ the officials said, adding that they were hopeful in getting the money soon.

In the fiscal budget for the year 2019-2020, the government announced that it would give 2 per cent cash incentive to the beneficiaries of inward remittances.

To this end, Tk 3,060 crore was kept aside for providing the incentive in an expectation that the incentive would significantly increase the remittance flow through the legal channels and discourage the illegal channels like ‘hundi’ business.

There were two options for the government, releasing the entire amount at a time or releasing the fund in phases, the BB officials said.

Even one-third payment of the fund would allow the central bank to disburse the fund in favour of the banks so that they could start providing incentives.

In line with the budgetary announcement, the BB has already issued guidelines in this regard, stating that no document would be required for receiving the incentive against remittance worth up to $1,500.

The BB guidelines mentioned that the decision would be effective on July 1, 2019.

The BB officials, however, assured that the beneficiaries of inward remittances would get cash incentive in arrears upon submission of proof.

In FY 2005-06, the country’s remittance earnings were $4.9 billion, which grew by three times to reach $16.4 billion in FY19.

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