Bangladeshi migrant numbers rise in Oman, but remittances fall

Energy Sunday 25/December/2016 22:46 PM
By: Times News Service
Bangladeshi migrant numbers rise in Oman, but remittances fall
Muscat: Although the number of Bangladeshi workers coming to Oman went up in November, according to Oman government data, their total remittances declined during the month, reports the Bangladesh government.
According to Oman’s National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), there were 694,449 Bangladeshis in the country as of November-end, up from 685,025 at the end of October.
Meanwhile, according to Bangladesh government data, remittances from Oman fell to US$67.24 million in November, compared to $69.94 million in October.
The data revealed that even though the number of Bangladeshi workers entering Oman was rising every month, remittances have been falling.
An official from the Bangladesh embassy said that the prevailing economic conditions in Oman, and the preference of workers for unauthorized methods of transferring money, were responsible for the slight dip in remittances
“We have also studied the data. Mainly, workers are facing salary cuts due to economic conditions. So, the remittances have gone down,” the official said.
“In addition, we have noticed that workers go for unauthorized money transfer methods. An unauthorized money transfer agent will hand over money at a doorstep. Workers prefer this. They do not want their recipients to go to banks,” he added.
A money exchange official in Muscat said that they had suffered at least a 30 per cent dip in remittances to Bangladesh.
“It is mainly because Bangladeshi workers are using unauthorised money transfer methods. We are aware of it,” Rajan B, general manager of Al Jadeed MoneyExchange in Oman, stated.
“Some other money exchange houses in Salalah, which had a good number of Bangladeshi customers, are struggling due to unauthorized money transfers,” the official added.
Moreover, for the first time, the number of Bangladeshis in Oman exceeded those of any other nationality, Oman government statistics revealed.
For decades, Indians made up the bulk of migrant workers in the Sultanate. And, despite police restrictions on the numbers of Bangladeshis allowed to enter Oman, their numbers are higher than those of Indian migrants, as of November.
The number of Bangladeshis and Pakistanis increased by 9,424 and 1,287, respectively, in November 2016, while the number of Indians fell by 1,607.
At this time last year, there were 590,170 Bangladeshis and 669,882 Indians, according to the NCSI.
Three years ago, in November 2013, there were 496,761 Bangladeshis in Oman, compared with 600,349 Indians.
Since then, the number of Bangladeshis rose by 197,688, while that of Indians increased by 91,426.