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June 01, 2020

Remittances are of Great Importance for Development

By Htun Tin Htun

Recognition of the role and contribution of migrant workers is nowadays of crucial importance for the sustainable development of many countries in the world and there are many organizations to defend and protect the rights of the migrant workers whenever they encounter problems threatening their human lives and human dignity.
Every citizen has the right to employ and migrate for their survival and success of their lives which is short and less satisfactory due to various reasons and no migrant worker will be criticized due to their current work abroad though some are facing several problems there.
Man matters most and mindset of all the national citizens need to be changed as our people tries to change the nation into new disciplined, developed, modernized, peaceful, sustainable and equitable Democratic Federal Union and the migrant workers of the nation currently in the neighboring countries for the time being will be back one day when our dreams come true.
Illegal working is not allowed in any country and it is important for those migrant workers who entered into a country illegally and working without permission of the host countries need to find ways and means, to get help through the relevant associations and organizations to be officially recognized by the host countries in line with their legal framework.
The incumbent government plays the important role in accepting the real situation, recognizing the important role of migrant workers (appreciate that they use their own money, effort and energy to go abroad to find their suitable jobs even though they mostly have known the sufferings and dangers of migration while they work in abroad) and in negotiating with the authorities of neighboring countries to accept the migrant workers (respect their rule of law and law and order) and in protecting the rights of migrant workers who follow and abide by the rule of law in the countries they have been working.
The number of migrant workers from the Republic of the Union of Myanmar in neighboring countries is huge (estimation has now reached approximately 5 million, it is learned) and we can calculate that if we counted three members in a family (small) and/or seven members in a family (big) the total number of dependency on the migrant workers is really very large in this regard across the country.
Authorities therefore should focus on the officially registration of migrant workers (not for criminal or other action) through the inter-Ministerial coordination and cooperation together with the people in the grassroots communities (the formation of team/task force from the village-tract/ward to collect the data, computerized registration system, what the illegal financial (hundi transfer of money) system and/or legal financial (private or public banking) system they have been using, the amount they remitted (average every month/ or how frequently they remit), the number of dependents, etc.).
National development needs the active participation of the people and the people should be aware of the importance of remittance from the workers working abroad and the spending of the people in the nation is of paramount importance for the development of the country.
Collective and concerted efforts are needed to get the figure of (even estimate nearly) the volume of remittance in a year from the workers from the Republic of the Union of Myanmar working abroad which is equally important with the export value of goods and services to abroad.
Economy of the nation now is underestimate due to various reasons (illegal trading and marketing of goods through the illegal border gates, the remittances through the illegal transfers, illegal black marketing of precious stones like gems-stones and jewelries, illegal teak and hardwood production and marketing, the hiding agenda for revenue retention and tax evasions etc.) and the cooperation, coordination and collaboration is needed among authorities for the interest of the nation.
Systematic approaches need to be initiated and implemented focusing on the remittance of the workers working abroad and the illegal money transfers need to be effectively deterred through the education and advocacy campaigns in line with prevailing laws, rules and regulations; the owners/entrepreneurs of these illegal money transfer businesses can be discovered through the help of relevant village-tract/ward administration. The administration also plays the critical role in this regard and the number of workers who go abroad from the relevant village/village-tract and ward/quarter in the township should be known by the administration for various purposes.
Rights and responsibilities are equally important for every citizen and the State (Government/Hluttaw) can only fulfill the rights of the national citizens smoothly if the citizens take their responsibilities from their side dutifully and earnestly.
Earning of a family is important for the survival of such family members and this is natural that the national citizen who cannot stand on their own feet within their area will find more appropriate livelihood wherever it is convenient or inconvenient and this practice is exercised by the people across the planet with same experiences.
One by one, moment by moment, little by little the registration work can be done and accomplished to make a comprehensive list of workers who have gone abroad and the workers as well as the people of the country will enjoy the fruits of the working abroad.
Good governance (transparency, accountability, participatory, inclusiveness, consensus, rule of law, efficiency/effectiveness) and clean government (right man in the right place and qualified followers and great leaders) are what the people of the Republic the Union of Myanmar looking for.
Revenue received by the Government mainly from the Tax and Duty is of paramount importance and if we can obtain this information about remittances, the appropriate tax from the workers working abroad as well as the legal money exchange/transfer makers can be levied and collected for the purpose of building peace, escalating prosperity and enhancing the development of the nation.
Every citizen has the right to employment and enjoyment according to the United Nation’s Declaration of Human Rights and every citizen has the responsibilities to follow the law and order, rule of law and tax payment and it is the noble duty for all of us.
Attitude makes good behaviors and habits after gaining knowledge and skills and therefore the workers working abroad need education and training, awareness and advocacy on how importance of remittance (money) is crucial for their family as well as the whole nation in order to measure the right and correct progress of the socio-economic development of the country.
The families who got the remittances from their family member(s) working in abroad should not hide the information and they all are responsible for dutifully disclosing and describing the real status of where are they (their family members) and what they are doing and how much they earn per month/year and how much they remit and how often?
It is very much interesting in roughly calculation that the estimate of remittance can be 5 million workers (guestimate) multiplied by US$ 100 (average remittance per month) makes the figure US$ 500 million a month (average) and US$ 6000 million in a Year (average) and in terms of Myanmar Kyats it is amounted Kyats (9,000,000,000,000) and the figure will surely be increased if they are able to remit more than US$ 100 per month.
Money (Capital), Land and Labor are the means of production and we, the people of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar badly need the Capital (financial resources) for expansion of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) representing over 90% of country’s economy, a major driving force of country’s economy and if the savings from the remittance can be used and invested in such expansion of businesses. Union of Myanmar will become a developed country within a few years.
People’s participation is of great importance for the peace and development and the people must be encouraged and urged their money to invest more in the circulation capital of business enterprises and maintaining only not in idle in the box/cupboard or only in the immovable/movable property.

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