Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The true nature of remittances

Mr. Chairman, I see references over and over again to the remittances of foreign workers in developed countries back to their not-so-developed homelands and so I feel once again compelled to remind my colleagues about the true nature of these flows. The remittances come from very private earnings.
Picture yourself working in a foreign country for less than minimum wages, alone, perhaps sleeping in lousy quarters, not understanding all that they say to you, and still you take a substantial part of your earnings and send them home. That’s what these remittances are all about. They are quite close to being like sacred religious donations.

Please do not confuse these flows with other financial flows. Do not even think of taxing them or assisting third parties to lay their hands on them. Be extremely careful. Do I exaggerate? I hope so but I have already read in World Bank publications about the securitizing these flows! Come on!