In­ward re­mit­tance reaches US$ 1mn

Business Bhutan - - Front Page - Dechen Dolkar from Thim­phu

Eight months af­ter in­tro­duc­ing RemitBhutan for non-res­i­dent Bhutanese liv­ing abroad, in­ward re­mit­tance reached US$ 1mn, which the Royal Mon­e­tary Author­ity (RMA) and fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions cel­e­brated on Tues­day by light­ing a thou­sand but­ter lamps at the Tashichho Dzong.

RemitBhutan was launched on Septem­ber 21 last year by Prime Min­is­ter Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay as a land­mark pol­icy ini­tia­tive to pro­vide a plat­form for Non-Res­i­dent Bhutanese to re­mit their sav­ings and earn­ings to Bhutan through the for­mal bank­ing chan­nel. The scheme is also an el­e­ment of a broader fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion

ini­tia­tive, pro­vid­ing non­res­i­dent Bhutanese a plat­form to con­trib­ute to na­tion build­ing.

So far, 637 for­eign cur­rency ac­counts have been opened with lo­cal banks, of which 54% is from Aus­tralia alone and the re­main­ing from African, Mid­dle East coun­tries and the United States of Amer­ica.

The fa­cil­ity has been ap­pre­ci­ated by the mem­bers of armed forces on UN peace­keep­ing mis­sions, youth work­ing abroad un­der over­seas em­ploy­ment pro­grams, gov­ern­ment diplo­mats and stu­dents, and their fam­i­lies liv­ing abroad.

RMA Gov­er­nor Dasho Pen­jore said that non­res­i­dent Bhutanese liv­ing abroad can open a for­eign cur­rency ac­count with zero bal­ance.

Dasho Pen­jore also said that the users will be charged only the re­mit­tance charge that is they have to pay the host bank abroad which is min­i­mal.

“Once the ac­count is cred­ited with for­eign cur­rency fa­cil­i­ties like online shop­ping, re­mit­tance to lo­cal banks and credit and debit card fa­cil­i­ties will be pro­vided,” he said.

The debit card availed from for­eign cur­rency ac­count can be used all over the world. How­ever, with­drawal can be made only in the re­spec­tive cur­ren­cies. For ex­am­ple, with­drawal in Bhutan can be made only in Ngul­trum, Ru­pee in In­dia and Baht in Thai­land.

Dasho Pen­jore added that the many Bhutanese are abroad for study and work, so the gov­ern­ment is pro­vid­ing in­cen­tives to se­cure their sav­ings within the coun­try.

It is es­ti­mated that if all non-res­i­dent Bhutanese liv­ing abroad use the ser­vice for in­ward re­mit­tance, the re­mit­tance would reach US$ 10mn in a year,.

The RMA gov­er­nor said that some of them have just opened the ac­count and re­mit­ted only US$ 50.

Given the proven ben­e­fits of in­ward re­mit­tance on the coun­try’s eco­nomic growth, a bench­mark tar­get to reach the US$ 1mn mark within one year of RemitBhutan’s for­mal launch in Septem­ber last year was set. The cen­tral bank in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the gov­ern­ment and the fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions sen­si­tized Bhutanese re­sid­ing in New York, Perth and Can­berra on RemitBhutan. The gov­ern­ment also ap­proved the waiver of tax on in­di­vid­ual fixed de­posits in Bhutan ef­fec­tive from Jan­uary 1, 2017 to make sav­ings in coun­try more at­trac­tive.

The Bank of Bhutan pro­vides 0.25% higher in­ter­est rate on for­eign cur­rency ac­counts than the bank in Aus­tralia.

Fur­ther, the RMA in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the gov­ern­ment launched the over­seas education and skills de­vel­op­ment scheme on April 7 this year with the ob­jec­tive to pro­vide more Bhutanese youth ac­cess to higher education and to gain mean­ing­ful em­ploy­ment skills which can be de­ployed upon re­turn. Un­der this scheme, the banks pro­vide loans up to Nu 1.5mn with­out col­lat­eral for youth work­ing abroad. The re­pay­ment of the loan will be made through RemitBhutan ac­counts.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Bhutan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.