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ASIAN METACENTRE RESEARCH PAPER SERIES no.20 The Social Organization of Remittances: Channelling Remittances from East and Southeast Asia to Bangladesh
Md Mizanur Rahman Brenda S.A. Yeoh


Md Mizanur Rahman is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore. He is a sociologist with particular interests in migration and development, migration and human (in)security, minority migration and migration policy in East and Southeast Asia. He obtained his Ph.D. in Sociology from National University of Singapore, Singapore, and M.A. in Sociology from Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India. Brenda S.A. Yeoh is Professor, Department of Geography, and the Head of Southeast Asian Studies Programme, National University of Singapore. She leads the research cluster on Asian Migrations at the Asia Research Institute and is Principal Investigator of the Asian MetaCentre for Population and Sustainable Development Analysis (funded by the Wellcome Trust, UK) at the Asia Research Institute. She is a social geographer whose main interest in population-related studies lies in migration, family and gender issues. She has in recent years completed, in collaboration with other colleagues, research projects on modes of childcare in Singapore, migrant women as paid domestic labour in the Southeast Asian context and Singaporean skilled migration to China. Brenda Yeoh has published several books including Gender and Migration (Edward Elgar, 2000 with Katie Willis), Gender Politics in the Asia-Pacific Region (Routledge, 2002, with Peggy Teo and Shirlena Huang), State/Nation/Transnation: Perspectives on Transnationalism in the Asia-Pacific (Routledge, 2004, with Katie Willis), Migration and Health in Asia (Routledge, 2005, with Santosh Jatrana and Mika Toyota), Contemporary Perspectives on Transnational Domestic Workers in Asia (Marshall Cavendish, 2005, with Shirlena Huang and Noor Abdul Rahman), and Globalisation and the Politics of Forgetting (Routledge, 2005, with Lee Yong Sook), over 60 articles in internationally refereed journals, some 40 book chapters as well as various research reports.



his paper is a result of the research project titled "Social Organization of Remittances: Remittance-Transfers from East and Southeast Asia to South Asia". The Project has benefited from the generous funding from Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. We would like to thank Ms Shamala Sundaray for her help in editing an earlier version of this paper, as well as Ms Theodora Lam Choy Fong and Ms Verene Koh Hwee Kiang for their assistance in publishing this paper.





housands of people from South Asia migrate annually to the comparatively developed economies of East and Southeast Asia for work. They migrate individually to these countries sometimes through arrangements between the host and home governments and sometimes clandestinely through individual initiatives. They work at the periphery of the economies of host countries and are barred from bringing their families with them, a widely practised policy for low-skilled foreign workers worldwide which not only reinforces the bond with home countries but also prevents future settlement in host countries. As they are basically transient economic migrants, they identify themselves in relation to their countries of origin and view the labour migration as a broader strategy for socio-economic advancement in home communities. To materialize their migration strategy, they usually remit the greater part of their earnings to their families left behind. These transfers in cash (or kind) from migrants to their non-migrating families in the source countries are usually referred to ‘migrant remittances1’. Migrant remittances currently provide valuable financial resources to many developing countries and the remittance flows are second only to foreign direct investment and are significantly larger than official development assistance in a number of developing countries (Ratha, 2003; Bagasao, 2004: 1; MigrantRemittances, 2004a). Official account of migrant remittances rose in 2003 to an estimated US$ 93 billion, up from US$ 88.1 billion in 2002 (Ratha, 2004). World Bank Global Development Finance estimates that remittances have reached US$ 126 billion for 2004 (World Bank, 2005a). Nevertheless, the true value of remittances is likely to be much higher because this official account does not capture informal remittances (Abella, 1989; Puri and Ritzema, 1999). Some sources estimate informal remittances as between US$ 100 and US$ 200 billion a year (Sander, 2003: 4) and between US$ 200 billion and US$ 300 billion a year (MigrantRemittances, 2004b:1). The flow of this huge amount of remittances demands a systematic inquiry into the mechanisms through which remittance is transferred across international borders. Although remittance constitutes an important part of international migration, it remains at the periphery of migration research. However, after the 9/11 terrorist attack, we witness a renewed interest in the part of scholars. This stems from the increased concern about the vulnerability of informal funds transfers to unlawful activities including terrorist financing. This concern has provoked a section of scholars to look into remittance from the security perspective; and global lenders like the World Bank, IMF, ADB and other international financial bodies have come forward to encouraging such studies (Passas, 1999; Bezard, 2002; Buencamino and Gorbunov, 2002; World Bank, 2002, 2005; APEC 2003; FATF, 2003; Sander, 2003; Burbidege 2004; Maimbo and Passas, 2004; Ratha and & Kethar, 2004; de Luna Martinez, 2005; Maimbo et al., 2005; Munshani, 2005). In general, the remittance literature has evolved on the basis of regional migration systems, for example, Latin American migration system involving North America (Alarcon et al., 1998; Lowell and Garza, 2000; Orozco, 2002a, 2002b, 2002c, 2003, 2004), African migration system involving Europe and Middle East (Brown, 1993; Horst, 2004;

Bazenguissa-Ganga, 2005; Higazi, 2005; Lindley, 2005), South Asian migration system involving Europe (see, Passas, 1999; Ballard, 2002, 2003a, 2004,; Blackwell and Seddon, 2004), Middle East migration systems involving Southeast Asia, South Asia, and East Asia, and inter-Asian migration system involving North America (see, Puri and Ritzema, 1999; World Bank 2002; APEC, 2003; El-Qorochi et al. 2003; Maimbo, 2003; Mellyn, 2003; Bagasao et al., 2004; Hernandez-Coss, 2004; Seddon, 2004; El-Sakka, 2005). We broadly summarize the issues that have been focused in the current literature as follows: (i) elaboration of different remittance mechanisms, both formal and informal; (ii) much of the discussion concentrates on the different informal remittance mechanisms and how and why it is disadvantageous for the national economies; (iii) a tendency towards linking informal transfers with drug dealing and terrorist financing; (iv) an emphasis on the securitization of remittances; and finally, (v) policy recommendations on how to encourage greater flow of funds through a formal channel, that is, how to ‘bank the unbanked’. While the existing literature advances our understanding of remittance from the security perspective, more research is needed in the area of the social dimension of remittance to counterbalance the excessive emphasis on security analysis of remittances. This research addresses the following questions: (i) what are the remittance channels in East and Southeast Asia; (ii) why do different remittance channels exist; (iii) who are the players in informal remittance; (iv) how informal remittance operate; and finally, (iv) why informal remittance sustain over time? This study focuses on the remittance of Bangladeshi migrants, who are working in the East and Southeast Asian migration systems, particularly Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore. As Bangladeshi migrant workers transfer remittances through the hundi system, a predominant type of informal funds transfer systems in this region, this paper explains the hundi system in particular. The subsequent discussion is divided into five sections. The first section describes different types of funds transfer mechanisms available in Asia and provides a brief overview of their strengths and weaknesses; the second section discusses the operations and characteristics of the hundi system; the third section describes flows of Bangladeshi labour migration to East and Southeast Asia; the fourth section examines the remittance experiences of Bangladeshi migrant workers in East and Southeast Asia; and finally, the fifth section provides summary and conclusion of the research. The primary data comes from fieldwork in Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea and Bangladesh. The fieldwork was conducted over a period of three months from 2004 to 2005.


Channels of Remittances in Asia


e broadly identify two types of remittance systems: (i) formal and (ii) informal2. Formal systems are those that operate under the regulated financial system. In formal systems the institutions involved in money transfers are supervised by government agencies and laws that determine their creation, characteristics, operations and closure (APEC, 2003: 3). Formal systems include banks and postal services, money transfer operators (MTOs) and other wire transfer services, and credit unions. Banks and postal services offer reliable remittance services in almost all host and home countries in Asia. However, migrant workers usually find their services expensive. The World Bank estimates that the average cost of transferring remittances remains about 13 per cent, and sometimes exceeds 20 per cent of the amount remitted (Maimbo, 2005:5). They not only charge higher fees but also take a longer time to complete the process. Bureaucratic hassles and weak or absence of banking services in many rural areas are some other drawbacks (Passas, 1999; El-Qorochi et al., 2003). Another important player in formal funds transfer systems is money transfer operators (MTOs). They provide the fastest service in formal money transfer systems. They take minutes to transfer money from one part of the world to another. Because of this service, they are gradually establishing firm rooting in the remittance market, beating the formal banking system. However, they charge higher fees. Western Union and MoneyGram are examples of two major MTOs. They first started operations in North America and now cover almost all countries in the world. Western Union transfers money to make payments using money orders and other electronic systems. Consumers can quickly and easily transfer money to more than 225,000 Western Union Agents located in over 195 countries and territories worldwide, the largest network of its kind3. MoneyGram is operating in 170 countries worldwide and have 75,000 local agents. The MTOs had penetrated the Asian remittance market at the end of last decade and are presently operating in almost all receiving and sending countries in Asia. Debit and credit cards are used to draw cash from Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) in many remittance recipient countries. Every time cash is withdrawn by using such cards, a small fee is charged. The debit and credit card companies have started to fill the niche in the remittance market in Latin America (Orozco, 2004). Immigrants in North America are increasingly using debit and credit cards for remittance. They are faster and comparatively cheaper. However, they have yet to reach migrant workers in Asia. The use of such cards (credit or debit) is still limited to skilled migrant workers who are on authorized status. The majority of low-skilled migrant workers do not have access to the banking services in host and home countries. Therefore, we see little prospect for these smart cards to penetrate the Asian remittance market in the near future. In general, the formal system is plagued by high transaction costs, long delays in transferring remittances, exchange loss (due to official foreign exchange conversion rate), and last but not least, overly bureaucratic procedures. As the name suggests, informal funds transfer systems do not fall into the realm of

the regulated financial sector. It “exists and operates outside of (or parallel to) conventional regulated banking and financial channels” (Buencamino and Gorbunov, 2002: 1). Although we observe widespread presence of different formal institutions for remittances and many of them are gradually penetrating the market, a large number of migrant workers still prefer to remit their earnings through informal systems. Looking through the historical lens, we find that migrant workers were dependent on informal funds transfers systems to remit their earnings before the advent of formal funds transfer systems (Aggarwal, 1966; Wu, 1967; Hicks, 1993; Sandhu and Mani, 1993; Huff, 1994; Kaplan, 1997). And this practice still prevails in different names and forms in different countries, for example, hawala (India, Pakistan and the Middle East), hundi (Pakistan and Bangladesh), fei-ch’ien (China and Southeast Asia), chit (China), chop (China), hui kuan (Hong Kong), padala and paabot (the Philippines), phei kwan (Thailand), chuyen tien tay ba (Vietnam), kyeyo money (Uganda) and mali a mbeleko (Zambia) (see Passas, 1999; Bezard, 2002; Morais, 2002; APEC, 2003; El-Qorochi et al. 2003; Mellyn, 2003; Puri and Ritzema, 2003; Schott, 2003; Bagasao, 2004; Seddon, 2004). In addition to these well-known informal systems, we also find some other popular informal systems that facilitate the transfer of remittances in cash or kind internationally, for example, hand-delivery, hand carriage, ethnic stores and travel agencies. In the handdelivery system, migrant workers give their savings to close relatives who are departing for the country of origin usually upon the completion of their overseas stay while, in the hand carriage system, as the name suggests, migrant workers take their savings with them when they return home at the end of their stay. Although it has always been a practice of ethnic stores and travel agencies in North America to engage in remittance business (Orozco, 2002, 2003; Hernandez-Coss, 2004), we also find some ethnic stores and travel agencies in Asia being involved in remittance business. As they are not physically involved in the transfer process, migrant workers often visit them as a last resort. In observing Bangladeshi migrants’ remittance behaviour in the region, we discover that they predominantly use the hundi system to remit their earnings home. We explain in the next section operations and characteristics of the hundi system in detail.


The Hundi System in East and Southeast Asia


he word ‘hundi’ comes from the Sanskrit root meaning 'collect' (Passas, 1999; Jost and Sandhu, 2000). It has the same meanings as hawala: bill of exchange, promissory note, trust, reference and the alternative remittance system (Jost and Sandhu, 2000). A hundi operator is a hundiwala. In existing literature, the term ‘hundi’ is interchangeably used with ‘hawala’ because it is assumed that both systems operate similarly (Passas, 1999; Buencamino and Gorbunov, 2002; Lambert, 2002; APEC, 2003; Thime, 2003). However, the operations and characteristics of hundi found in East and Southeast Asia are different in many respects from those of the hawala found in the Middle East, South Asia and the United Kingdom. Figure 1 presents a prototype hundi transaction found in East and Southeast Asia. Figure 1 is broadly divided into three phases: first mile, intermediary stage and last mile; and, for the sake of simplicity, many potential feedback linkages are omitted from the figure. We identify two types of hundi players in the region—hundi dealers and hundiwalas. Hundi dealers are people who are usually situated at the node of the regional migration systems and are involved in the transfer of large sums of cash at the macro level. Hundi dealers are not physically involved in the collection of cash from migrant workers or in the distribution of cash to the migrant families. They are fundamentally users and transferrers of cash. In contrast, hundiwalas are principally the collectors and distributors of cash at the micro level. In macro-hundi dealings, a client in Country A hands over a sum of money to the hundi dealer and requests that the equivalent amount be sent to a designated recipient in Country B. The sending hundi dealer relays all the necessary information concerning the transaction to a counterpart hundi dealer in Country B. The hundi dealer in Country B will give the money to the recipient upon presentation of some sort of identification. In this transaction, money is transferred between two parties living in two different countries but both hundi dealers and cash do not necessarily cross borders. The hundi dealers’ profit usually comes from two important sources: currency exchange rates manipulation; and uses of cash in business dealings. Some major areas of use of funds are: transfers of funds to third destination country, usually developed countries; and loan to the importers for the purpose of ‘under-invoicing’ (McCusker, 2005). The funds transfer to third country is a profitable business for hundi dealers. Sometimes, business, political and military elites from developing countries want to transfer funds to a third country for personal savings. They usually encounter problems in such transfers because of the observance of strict financial regulations by their home countries. The practice of such financial regulatory mechanisms generates a demand for the external funds that hundi dealers have come to supply. Given their geo-political location, hundi dealers are in a position to meet such demands and make huge profits. Another common use of funds is the import business for under-invoicing. In an under-invoicing business deal, businessmen from labour sending countries make a deal with foreign companies regarding the under-value of imported goods in official papers. Once the deals are struck, they borrow the cash from regional hundi dealers to pay the

concerned companies behind closed doors. The motivation for under-invoicing stems from the profit that the businessmen may make by evading import duties in the home country (Figure 2). Hundi dealers situated in Singapore are the key players in the hundi business in East and Southeast Asia. They are known as regional hundi dealers and Singapore as the regional hundi hub. In these situations, money very often moves in both directions: into the labour-sending country from the migrant, and out on behalf of another economic agent who wants the foreign exchange (see Brown, 1994: 3). The operation and services of hundi dealers are different from those of hundiwalas. Hundiwalas are usually former migrants or petty businessmen who possess certain entrepreneurial qualities and specific social resources that provide the basis to seek access to the migrant population in a particular host country. In the migration literature, we find a quasi-similar type of individuals called Mulas in the case of US-Cuba remittance systems (Orozco, 2002). However, they are only carriers of funds and American goods to Cuba and they provide limited services to migrants and their families. In contrast, the services that hundiwalas offer are much wider and go beyond the economic transaction of funds. Hundiwalas use various means to build trust among the migrant communities in host countries including establishing contacts with migrant families, source villagers and prominent persons from the source locality. As migrant workers rather contact the hundiwalas who have already earned their trust, hundi dealers, notwithstanding their sound financial strength, are not able to infiltrate the migrant remittance market, let alone enjoy a monopoly. We identify two types of hundiwalas: primary and secondary hundiwalas or collaborators. Primary hundiwalas are involved in the overall collection of cash in the host country and distribution of cash in the home country; they maintain strong networks of collaborators in both places. Secondary hundiwalas are basically collaborators who assist the primary hundiwalas to collect the cash and distribute it to migrants’ families in the home countries. The collaborators are chosen based on regional, village, peer and kinship ties. In general, they are not motivated purely by economic incentives. They are obligated to show reciprocity to the primary hundiwalas because they serve them beyond economic transactions; and they are linked by varied degrees of social bonds. Sometimes, collaborators are paid commissions for their services, especially in Malaysia and South Korea.


Migrant Workers in Host Countries: Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan
First Mile Intermediary Stage: Uses of funds Last Mile
Hundiwalas fly with gifts goods Transfer of Funds to Businessmen: Business underinvoicing Cash
Hundiwalas receive gifts


Hundiwalas: Collection Point in Host Country

Hundiwalas or Hundi dealers Distribution Point in Home Country
Hundiwalas deliver cash and/or gifts Cash

Migrant Families in Bangladesh

Figure 1 Hundi Operation: Channelling Remittances from East and Southeast Asia to Bangladesh

Hundiwalas Fly with cash/ gifts

Transfer of Funds to Hundi Dealers: Singapore is the Regional Hundi Hub


1. Businessman contacts company from importing country and makes deal regarding under-invoicing

2. Businessman collects cash from hundi dealer or hundiwalas and pays the promised cash to the company unofficially.

3. Businessman pays back the cash to the Last Mile agent and sometimes this payment takes place confirmationbefore-payment arrangement

Note: Adapted from McCusker, 2005 Figure 2 Under-invoicing in Business: Use of Money at Intermediary Stage In general, primary hundiwalas fly to some host countries with food, gifts and letters from the migrants’ families on Friday, collect money from the migrants on Saturday and Sunday, do the shopping on Monday and return to the home countries on Monday night or Tuesday. The entire process from collection of cash from the migrants abroad to payment of cash to the migrants’ families takes three to five days. Hundiwalas visit the migrants’ families, usually situated in remote places, and hand over the cash only to the individuals the migrants suggest (e.g. parents, wives, siblings, etc.). Hundiwalas convey first-hand information about the condition (social, physical and economic) of the migrants to their families and vice versa. Sometimes, the migrants’ families borrow cash from hundiwalas when the need arises. This ‘generosity’ further strengthens relations among hundiwalas, migrant workers and their families. Migrant workers see hundiwalas as a link between the home and host countries. The Hundiwalas are in a position to provide the above services because they use the cash collected abroad to purchase electronics, cosmetics and other commodities to sell in the home countries. These commodities are not easily available in the local markets because of the conservative import polices of these countries; and, if it is available, it is costly due to high import duties. As hundiwalas carry goods with them to evade taxes, they are in a better position to sell the goods at a competitive price in local markets and make a

tidy profit. In addition, some hundiwalas also transfer cash to regional hundi dealers and businessmen with commissions. Sometimes, they follow confirmation-before-payment option, where the hundiwala pays the businessman the value of the funds remitted after the recipient in the home country has confirmed receipt of the money. Reliability, credibility and efficiency are essential ingredients to a hundi business. The hundi system possesses several characteristics that account for its widespread use in this region. These characteristics include trustworthiness, transaction-cost-free service, speed, door-to-door service and convenience. The key to hundi is trust and hundiwalas are forced to maintain trust in the source communities through a set of social control mechanisms. The breach of trust involves social shame for the hundiwala, his family and broader social groups like lineage and neighbourhood. As a result, these primary and secondary social groups exert pressure on the individual members to comply with social norms and values. Unlike formal systems, hundiwalas do not charge transaction fees. One of the incentives that hundiwalas offer to migrant workers is exchange rates which are higher than those offered by formal institutions. Therefore, it is more than the transactioncost-free service. Migrant workers find this charge-free remittance of their hard earned wages attractive and lucrative. Hundiwalas offer speedy service. If migrant workers require transferring cash in hours to their families in remote villages, hundiwalas are also able to provide this service virtually cost-free. Hundiwalas provide door-to-door service in remittances. In the door-todoor service, hundiwalas collect the cash from the migrants by visiting their residences or gathering places in host countries and deliver the cash to the migrants’ families in the home countries. It is a two-way service—hundiwalas carry not only cash, gifts and first hand information from migrants overseas to their families in source communities but also gifts, goods and first hand information from the migrants’ families to the migrants in host countries. The Hundi system is culturally convenient for both migrants and their families. In general, most of these migrant workers have limited education. They are usually ignorant about formal banking procedures and unfamiliar with banking terms which are often in English or the local language of host countries. The formal system also requires filling up forms and the migrants are afraid that any error in filling up the forms may lead to loss of their hard earned money. As a result, many of them are reluctant to deal with formal institutions. In addition, South Asian migrants are mainly male. Their wives and other family members are left behind. Conservative family traditions sometimes encourage maintaining minimal contact with the ‘outside world’ for their women folk (see El-Qorchi et al., 2003:14). A trusted and acquainted hundiwala who is aware of the village norms and traditions is an acceptable intermediary in such circumstances. The hundi business does not require capital. What is needed is to build trust among the migrants and their families and as long as they can uphold the trust among both groups, they can continue to survive in the business. As an individual can make a reasonable profit by just being a trusted carrier in the hundi business, there exists tough competition among the hundiwalas towards acquiring the utmost trust of the migrants, which, in the long run, contributes to the viability of the system.

Bangladeshi Migrants in East and Southeast Asia

xperiencing a huge surplus of labour and economic stagnation immediately after its independence in 1971, Bangladesh has pursued an active policy to locate overseas labour markets for its nationals and has been amazingly successful in penetrating the labour markets of the oil-rich Middle Eastern countries as early as the mid-1970s. Soon after penetrating the Middle East market in the 1970s, Bangladesh began targeting the comparatively developed economies of East and Southeast Asia. Some countries of East and Southeast Asia had experienced labour shortages in the late 1980s and started hiring a large number of foreign workers. Bangladesh established contacts with these countries and began sending thousands of its nationals to these new destinations since the early 1990s. To Bangladeshi migrants, these new destinations were economically more rewarding as they could draw higher wages compared to their counterparts in the Middle East (Mahmood, 1998). This possibility of higher earnings induced the migration of better educated and enterprising Bangladeshis who were mostly unemployed or underemployed in Bangladesh. As the labour markets in East and Southeast Asia are limited and controlled by strict regulatory measures, the flow of documented migrants to this region is mainly demanddriven. However, with the growth of migrant networks over time, a growing number of prospective migrants are able to circumvent the official regulation—a phenomenon that has given rise to undocumented migration in the region. According to some available data, the total cumulative figure for Bangladeshi documented migrants overseas until 2004 was approximately 4 million and for East and Southeast Asia alone, it was around half a million4 (Table 1). However, it is understood that the size of undocumented migrants will be much higher in both regions. In the last decade, around 200,000 Bangladeshis annually migrated overseas for work through the official channel. Bangladesh’s attempt to earn foreign currencies through the export of surplus labour has shown remarkable success. According to official data of Bangladesh Bank and BMET, Bangladesh received more than US$ 32 billion remittances from its migrant population between 1976 and February 2005 (Table 2). Table 2 demonstrates that the formal remittance to Bangladesh has increased in congruence with the flow of migrant workers overseas. While in 1976 only US$ 24 million entered the country through formal channels, this number rose to around 1.09 billion in 1993, around 2.07 billion in 2001 and, finally, US$ 3.18 billion in 2003. The data on informal remittances is sketchy. Among available literature, Mahmud (1989), reports that informal remittances account for 20 per cent of the total amount of remittances in Bangladesh (cited in Puri and Ritzema, 1999: 8). Siddiqui and Abrar’s (2001) study on labour migrants to the UAE revealed that 40 per cent of remittances were channelled through informal means (cited in de Bruyn and Kuddus, 2005: 29). An ILO study on remittances in Bangladesh revealed that ten out of 100 remittancereceiving families faced problems with the hundi, whereas 19 people encountered problems with official transfer methods (van Doorn, 2002/4: 50). The ILO study also found that the minimum time required to transfer the remittances was one hour (hundi) and the maximum


time was 25 days (bank draft). It is thus obvious that a large amount of cash enters the country informally. The financial system of Bangladesh consists of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), four nationalized commercial banks (NCB), five government owned specialized banks, 30 private commercial banks (PCB), ten foreign banks and 28 non-bank financial institutions5. To increase the inflow of remittances through formal channels, Bangladesh Bank, as the central bank of the country, plays a crucial role. Bangladesh Bank permits banks to establish drawing arrangements with foreign banks and Exchange houses for facilitating remittance by Bangladeshi nationals living abroad. Persons willing to remit their earnings through official channels can buy either Taka draft (Bangladeshi currency) or US dollar draft from these foreign banks and Exchange houses with drawing arrangements with different banks in Bangladesh. Bangladeshi nationals living abroad can send Foreign Exchange directly to their own bank accounts maintained in Bangladesh or to their nominated person's/relative's bank accounts in Bangladesh. Banks that are allowed to deal with foreign exchange either have their own exchange branches or link up with international banks or money exchange companies in the host countries. Private Banks are not allowed to have branches in cities overseas (de Bruyn and Kuddus, 2005:30). However, they have correspondent banks. Some NCBs and PCBs had opened their operations in East and Southeast Asia in the 1990s. Some Bangladeshi banks that have arrangements with foreign banks and exchange houses in East and Southeast Asia are Sonali Bank, Janata Bank, National Bank, Agrani Bank, Islami Bank and United Commercial Bank. Transfers of money from these banks usually take a week in the case of receiving banks situated in the capital city Dhaka. However, if the receiving banks are situated in the district cities, the delivery time to banks extends to a few weeks. Migrant workers often blame the malpractices and unfriendliness of bank officials in Bangladesh. Likewise in some host countries, especially Singapore and Malaysia, we have observed a lack of customer-friendly attitude among the agents of exchange houses established by Bangladeshi banks. Migrant workers, especially enterprising migrant workers, sometimes express their bitter experiences during their contact with such agents in the Bengali Dailies to draw the attention of the authorities (The Daily Ajkerkagoj, (Bangladesh) 4 May 2005).


Table 1 Flow of Migrants by Country of Employment and Remittances, 1976 – 2005
Years 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 K.S.A 217 1379 3212 6476 8695 13384 16294 12928 20399 37133 27235 39292 27622 39949 57486 75656 93132 106387 91385 84009 72734 106534 158715 185739 144618 137248 163269 162131 139031 13139 Kuwait U.A.E 643 1315 2243 2298 3687 5464 7244 10283 5627 7384 10286 9559 6524 12404 5957 28574 34377 26407 14912 17492 21042 21126 25444 22400 594 5341 15769 26722 41108 5461 1989 5819 7512 5069 4847 6418 6863 6615 5185 8336 8790 9953 13437 15184 8307 8583 12975 15810 15051 14686 23812 54719 38796 32344 34034 16252 25462 37346 47012 8223 Qatar 1221 2262 1303 1383 1455 2268 6252 7556 2726 4751 4847 5889 7390 8462 7672 3772 3251 2441 624 71 112 1873 6806 5611 1433 223 552 94 1268 327 Iraq 587 1238 1454 2363 1927 13153 12898 4932 4701 5051 4728 3847 4191 2573 2700 Libya Bahrain Oman Malaysia Korea 173 718 2394 1969 2976 4162 2071 2209 3386 1514 3111 2271 2759 1609 471 1124 1617 1800 1864 1106 1966 1934 1254 1744 1010 450 1574 2855 606 240 335 870 762 827 1351 1392 2037 2473 2300 2965 2597 2055 3268 4830 4563 3480 5804 5396 4233 3004 3759 5010 7014 4639 4637 4371 5421 7482 9194 1455 113 1492 2877 3777 4745 7352 8248 11110 10448 9218 6255 440 2219 15429 13980 23087 25825 15866 6470 20949 8691 5985 4779 4045 5258 4561 3854 4029 4435 702 17237 4921 85 28 224 49 2 401 1385 1628 10537 67938 47826 35174 66631 2844 551 1558 3315 2759 889 578 1501 990 1561 28 3771 215 1 17,166 229 776 642 313 1739 391 3762 5304 27401 21728 9596 11095 9615 6856 5304 6948 975 116,296 228 328 1335 2659 3062 303 169 1 1420 2958 154 980 1802 13 530 23 3 23 110 385 1083 331 178 718 792 25 Singapore Brunei Others 809 632 1029 223 2 1111 524 913 1224 550 254 711 709 654 517 585 28 359 295 910 1358 1552 444 343 360 1464 2230 2736 20723 2825 Total 6087 15725 22809 24495 30073 55787 62762 59220 56714 77694 68658 74017 68121 101724 103814 147131 188124 244508 186326 187543 211714 231077 267667 268182 222686 188965 225256 254190 272958 33410 Million US$ 23.71 82.79 106.90 172.06 301.33 304.88 490.77 627.51 500.00 500.00 576.20 747.60 763.90 757.84 781.54 769.30 901.97 1009.09 1153.54 1201.52 1355.34 1525.03 1599.24 1806.63 1954.95 2071.03 2847.79 3177.63 3573.76 646.23 32,330.08


1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005(Feb) Total

2,045,428 397,687 499,429 93,895 66,343 52,937 107,524 236,239 258,040

15,412 43,666 3,924,027

Source: Adapted from main Table Found in [accessed on May 10, 2005]

Table 2 Country-wise and Year-wise Remittances Bangladesh Received from 1991 - 2004
Years Country Saudi Arabia U.A.E Qatar Oman Bahrain Kuwait Libya Iran 1991 293.10 75.10 55.30 47.60 17.90 27.30 1.80 2.50 53.00 54.30 7.80 81.90 1.90 1992 1993 1994 462.43 85.10 59.93 75.44 30.79 185.19 1.82 0.31 97.64 49.93 9.94 32.76 27.45 2.32 1995 485.91 77.99 68.61 82.51 32.87 165.24 0.26 0.15 104.39 39.82 6.31 27.69 71.56 3.78 1996 530.76 93.80 58.00 93.20 30.20 203.70 0.20 0.20 137.6 44.80 3.90 24.7 72.70 5.10 1997 521.71 91.79 57.52 52.05 2.81 207.96 188.93 31.66 207.65 59.43 6.11 0.98 22.47 66.45 1998 626.08 116.28 60.25 88.84 33.22 219.22 0.25 0.39 217.09 62.95 4.05 29.98 71.28 12.16 1999 791.93 124.53 64.5 94.1 41.08 242.45 0.04 0.39 229.64 54.85 4.84 45.16 57.22 11.28 248.21 68.87 3.94 16.09 45.56 10.53 264.95 63.93 4.83 11.60 31.85 8.15 2000 932.98 143.15 61.24 87.13 42.79 246.47 0.10 2001 980.92 186.93 76.67 90.60 49.24 254.75 2002 2003 2004 Total Million US$

340.10 440.80 76.94 48.06 69.34 22.43 97.66 0.15 0.12 65.76 58.45 13.47 49.73 37.83 0.18 0.28 86.99 55.33 61.65 23.25 143.05 1.79 1.74 69.75 46.29 14.86 30.41 4.78 2.42

1244.47 1312.95 1463.30 10427.44 276.50 103.36 110.82 57.58 322.38 0.10 0.05 423.47 170.75 7.90 15.13 49.14 25.26 1.26 1.8 4.88 2.31 349.31 110.22 114.29 64.02 338.46 0.12 0.32 470.10 234.80 8.73 18.78 33.51 28.92 1.01 1.22 5.93 1.31 83.63 92.70 390.49 125.29 123.29 62.64 380.39 0.19 0.44 477.64 342.56 12.61 19.18 35.38 35.34 2174.90 1004.28 1190.86 510.82 3034.22 195.75 38.27 3066.89 1351.73 109.29 404.09 522.90 251.44 2.27 3.20 10.81 3.90 631.44


U.S.A U.K Germany Japan Malaysia Singapore South Korea Australia Italy Hong Kong Others Total

49.80 769.30












901.97 1009.09 1153.54 1201.52 1355.34 1525.03 1599.24 1806.63 1954.95 2071.03 2847.79 3177.63 3561.44 24934.50

Source: [accessed on November 2, 2005]


Remittances from Japan


apan experienced large scale foreign workers in the mid 1980s (Yamanaka, 1993; Nagayama, 1996). The number of migrant workers was 1,851,758 in 2002, an increase of about 600,000 from that of 1990 (Khondker, 2004). The Immigration Bureau of Japan reveals that foreigners comprise 1.5 per cent of Japan’s population which was around 1,915,664 in 2004 (Asia Migration News, 15 June 2004). Foreign workers in Japan can be divided into two groups: undocumented and documented (Japan-born Koreans and Chinese, Zainicbi Gaikokujin, foreign-born Japanese, Nikkeijin, professionals, trainees and entertainers). Undocumented migrant workers are those who overstay, leave their positions as trainees with legal employers, work without legal permission as in the case of students or enter Japan using either forged passports or other illegal methods6. The irregular foreign workers usually come from Asian countries, particularly, East Asia (men and women), South Asia (men) and Iran (men). As of January 2005, the number of irregular immigrants totalled 207,299, down 5.5 per cent from a year earlier (Asian Migration News, 31 March, 2005). Remittances sent home by foreign workers, both documented and undocumented migrants, have made Japan a leading source of foreign exchange for developing countries—surpassing Tokyo’s foreign aid budget (Kakuchi, 2004). Takashi Kadokura of Dai-ichi Life Research Institute Inc. estimated in a study in October 2003 that US$ 5.5 billion was sent annually through unofficial channels by illegal migrant workers in Japan (Asia Migration News, 15 September 2004). When added to the US$ 2.7 billion in remittances recorded by Japan’s central bank in 2002, foreign workers send out more than US$ 8.25 billion annually (Asia Migration News, 15 September 2004). Japan is not a formal recipient of migrant workers, especially unskilled migrant workers. However, Japan pursues selective trainee programs that allow the hiring of foreign unskilled individuals as trainees. Bangladesh is not included in the list of countries wherefrom such trainees can be invited. Due to this absence of legal mechanisms, many enterprising Bangladeshis entered Japan by using ‘tourist’, ‘student’, ‘business’ or transit visas and later overstayed their visas to work indefinitely. Some Japanese sources revealed that between 1990 and 1998, there were 63,170 Bangladeshi over-stayers (Watanabe, 1998: 246; Iguchi, 2002:127). Japan actively pursues deportation of unauthorized7 migrants and according to one source 5,078 Bangladeshi overstayers were deported between 1996 and 2000 (Kondo, 2002:427). Apart from overstaying Bangladeshis, there are a sizeable number of Bangladeshi students in Japan. Japan provides a large number of scholarships for students from developing countries to undertake higher studies in Japanese universities. According to one estimate, there were 117,300 students in Japan in 2004. The number of Bangladeshi students from 1991- 2004 was 10,4378. According to the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, Bangladeshis from Japan sent US$ 404.09 million from 1991 to 2004. However, this is official data and we find enough evidence in Japan to argue that the unofficial figure would be much higher. Major players in formal funds transfer between

Japan and Bangladesh are the postal department and banks. Money transfer operators like Western Union and MoneyGram are not popular among Bangladeshi migrants in Japan. Some Bangladeshi banks like Janata Bank, Islami Bank and Sonali Bank have correspondent banks such as Chiba Kogyo Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and Sumitomo Mitsui Bank in Japan to facilitate remittances from Japan. In addition to banks, Japan’s postal department plays a major role in channelling remittances through formal means. Authorized migrants and sponsored students (scholarship holders) sometimes use their services to remit money back home. In recent years, there has been an increasing tendency among formal institutions to enquire about the reasons for transfers of funds and when they come to know that the customers are students, they discourage transfers of funds arguing that students’ priority should be studying and not remitting9. Some of our student respondents had encountered such experiences with formal institutions before shifting to informal remittances means. We find a strong presence of both types of players in the hundi system, that is, hundiwalas and hundi dealers. Hundiwalas, especially primary hundiwalas, are involved in the process of collection of cash from migrant workers and students and they have strong networks in Bangladesh to distribute the cash in shorter duration. Primary hundiwalas in Japan are usually early migrants who have acquired residence permits over time. There are several hundred ethnic stores owned by Bangladeshi earlier migrants across Japan. These ethnic stores sell South Asian products. They are famous for serving halal food and their customers are South Asians in general and all Muslims in particular. It is important to mention that these ethnic stores play a major role in the collection of cash from migrant workers in Japan which is not common in the case of Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea. This is most probably due to the involvement of permanent residents in hundi as primary hundiwalas. Hundiwalas use personal relations that have developed over time to contact the ethnic shop owners and make agreements with regard to the collection of cash. Prospective remitters pay the cash to the ethnic stores and leave a note of their details including the recipient’s name and address. Hundiwalas later collect the cash and the relevant details from the shop owners. The hundiwalas do not necessarily visit the shop owners to collect the cash. They usually request them to deposit the cash into their bank accounts. Primary hundiwalas contact the secondary hundiwalas who are usually new resident permit holders or luggage businessmen10 in the case of Japan. These secondary hundiwalas travel weekly by availing Bangladeshi airlines, Bangladesh Biman, which flies directly from Tokyo to Dhaka. They usually carry second-hand electronic goods for sale in Bangladesh. On the return trip, they carry various Bangladeshi goods for sale in the ethnic shops. Nevertheless, as airfare is expensive, regular visits do not produce substantial profits for both parties. In addition, visa for Japan is very difficult to arrange and if visa is offered, it is usually for single entry which luggage businessmen find unfavourable for the operation of such business. Due to these reasons, primary hundiwalas usually transfer cash to two main groups: businessmen and regional hundi dealers in Singapore with commissions. Japan is a major importing country for Bangladesh. Cars, machinery goods and electronics have exclusive markets in Bangladesh. Bangladeshi businessmen who are engaged in the import business with Japan make deals with Japanese companies regarding

under-invoicing. Later, they pay the cash by borrowing from primary hundiwalas. In addition, some Bangladeshi expatriates who are involved in used car business in Japan, also borrow money from hundiwalas. The demand for this external cash persists because both parties make hefty profits by using hundi money. In some cases, we find the practice of ‘confirmation-before-payment’ where the recipients in Bangladesh get the money first before the remitters in Japan make the payments. However, businessmen who have a good reputation and have already earned the trust of the primary hundiwalas do not need to pay the cash first to the recipients. In this case, the use of the hundiwalas’ money generates higher profits for all parties involved— hundiwalas, businessmen and migrants’ families. Some primary hundiwalas also transfer the cash to regional hundi dealers situated in Singapore. These hundi dealers use the money for different purposes as we have discussed in the previous section. Neither hundi dealers nor hundiwalas charge fees to the migrants and their families. Once cash is received by the agents of the primary hundiwalas in Bangladesh, they immediately deliver the cash to the recipients by visiting their families.


Remittances from South Korea


ollowing the rapid economic development in the early 1980s, South Korea transforms into a major destination country for foreign workers (Martin, 1996). By the late 1980s, South Korea experienced a massive inflow of foreign workers (Athukorala and Manning, 1999; Park, 2000, 2002; Khondker, 2004). We identify three types of foreign workers in South Korea: migrant workers, industrial trainees and undocumented workers. Data from the Ministries of Justice and Labor, Korea, indicates that as of June 2005, there were 355,000 foreign workers in the country. Of this, 55.5 per cent was unauthorized immigrants (Asian Migration News, January 15, 2005). Bangladeshis started migrating to South Korea in the early 1990s under the trainee program called “Foreigners Industrial Training Programme” (FITP). According to the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training Bangladesh, only 11,165 trainees went to South Korea for work from 1994 to 2004. However, the OECD report (2000: 211) revealed that the cumulative figure for Bangladeshi overstayers in South Korea between 1992 and 2000 was 69,600. This inconsistency in data is mainly due to the clandestine nature of Bangladeshi migration (Lian and Rahman, 2006). The recorded remittances from South Korea was only US$ 2.27 million for the period between 1991 and 2004 (see Table 2). Some Bangladeshi banks, for example Janata Bank and Islami Bank, have correspondent banks in Korea, such as Woori Bank and Korea Exchange Bank, to facilitate remittances to Bangladesh. Nevertheless, despite the presence of formal institutions, the hundi system exists as a dominant channel of remittances from South Korea. The major reason for the exclusive use of the hundi system is linked to the presence of a huge number of undocumented Bangladeshi migrants. As undocumented migrants suffer from fear of being caught by the immigration authority, they find the hundiwalas, who usually visit their residences to collect the cash, convenient and economical. We identify both types of hundi players in South Korea: hundiwalas and hundi dealers. In contrast to Japan, primary hundiwalas in South Korea are tourist visa holders who fly frequently to South Korea for remittances business. Some of them had worked in South Korea as trainees before. Hence, they have a good understanding of immigration laws, locations of Bangladeshi workers and the Korean language. They generally use their prior contact to access the migrant community and earn their trust. Secondary hundiwalas are usually migrant workers, both documented and undocumented ones, who are in the remittances business as part-time work along with their regular work. Secondary hundiwalas are found in different industrial sites or cities, where a large congregation of Bangladeshi migrant workers exists. However, hundiwalas may emerge at worksites where there might be even less than fifty migrants. This is because given their undocumented status, most migrant workers live in non-residential areas and prefer to be invisible in public places; therefore, enterprising individuals from among them emerge to serve their need of remittances. Secondary hundiwalas in South Korea are involved only in the collection of cash from migrant workers. Upon the collection of cash, they transfer the cash to primary hundiwalas with commissions. The rates of commission vary depending on the pre-existing peer, regional or kinship ties.

Although secondary hundiwalas gain minimal profits from this collection service, it is a good source of supplementary income. The responsibility of delivering the remittances to the migrants’ families falls on the shoulders of the primary hundiwalas, who maintain collaborators in Bangladesh for the purpose of distribution. However, it is the secondary hundiwalas who are liable to the migrant workers and thus they keep track of the receipts of cash by the migrants’ families. Generally, both primary and secondary hundiwalas originate from the same district. Basically, primary hundiwalas use the cash in two areas: loans to Bangladeshi businessmen for under-invoicing and transfers of cash to regional hundi dealers. Uses of cash at the intermediary stage are as same as in the case of Japan. In both cases, they make substantial profits that sustain the system over time. In addition, some primary hundiwalas carry cash with them during their return trip to Bangladesh. In the case of South Korea, hundiwalas do not spend much money on remittances in kind because it does not generate substantial extra value. However, at the time of their onward trip, they carry Bangladeshi goods to sell in the ethnic stores in South Korea. There are a few hundred South Asian stores that serve South Asians in general and Muslim migrants in particular. As the visa for South Korea is comparatively easier to obtain and there is also provision for on-arrival visas for Bangladeshis, primary hundiwalas, who have never overstayed their visas, hardly encounter any difficulty with immigration at international airports in South Korea. This has further contributed to the continuity of the hundi system in South Korea.


Remittances from Malaysia


oreign workers began entering Malaysia in the 1970s as a result of the New Economic Policy’s (1971-1990) efforts to restructure the economy and society and of the international relocation of manufacturing industries to Asia (Chan and Abdullah, 1999; Kassim, 1999; Pillai, 2000; Chin, 2002; Lian and Rahman 2006). The number of migrant workers in the late 1990s was as high as three million (Pillai, 1998). In July 2001, there were over 807,000 documented foreign workers in Malaysia (Kassim, 2002:328). According to one report, over 2.25 million illegal migrants had been apprehended between 1992 and 2001 (Kassim, 2002). Formal recruitment of Bangladeshi migrant workers started in the early 1990s. According to one source, between 1992 and 1998, 307,000 Bangladeshi migrant workers were issued work permits to work in Malaysia (Athukorala & Manning, 1999: 177). According to another source, approximately half a million Bangladeshi migrants visited Malaysia for work between the late 1980s and 1997 (Siddiqui, 2001). Foreign workers in Malaysia remitted about US$1.3 billion in 1997 and about 65 per cent of remittances went to Indonesia, 22 per cent to Bangladesh and six per cent to the Philippines (Asia Pulse, June 4, 1998). Outward remittances from Malaysia amounted to about US$ 4 billion in 2004 (Agence France Presse, 8 April, 2005). The amount of recorded remittances from Malaysia to Bangladesh between 1991 and 2004 was $522.90 million in total (Table 2). To facilitate delivery of remittances, Bangladeshi banks, such as Sonali Bank, Janata Bank, National Bank and Agrani Bank, have established contacts with some leading Malaysian banks such as May Bank, Bank Simpanan Nasional and Bumiputra Commerce Bank. We also find the presence of Western Union and MoneyGram. Despite the availability of formal channels, the hundi system remains a leading channel for remittances from Malaysia. Primary hundiwalas in Malaysia are both early migrants who have already acquired documented status, usually long-term stay permits and tourist visa. The tourist visa holders usually receive multiple entry visas to fly back and forth frequently. Secondary hundiwalas are those who are working as both documented and undocumented migrant workers. The geographical origins of migrant workers are very diverse in Malaysia. There might be as many as twenty districts from where a large number of migrants hail. This diversity has produced enormous numbers of hundiwalas in Malaysia. The collection and distribution of remittances in Malaysia is almost as same as in the case of South Korea. Secondary hundiwalas are usually from big work sites, small cities, or workers’ residence areas or roads. They see the remittances business as a part-time work to augment their incomes. As it also involves the use of good interpersonal relations and social recognition in the communities or villages of origin, many hundiwalas see their engagement in the hundi system as a show of prestige. Upon the collection of the cash, they transfer the cash to the designated bank accounts of primary hundiwalas and send them mobile phone text messages (via Short Message Service) informing them of the details about the transfers. Based on predetermined rates, they deduct their commissions from the collected cash at the time of the transfers. Primary hundiwalas are usually based in Kuala

Lumpur. However, there are a few primary hundiwalas in every major city, for example, Johor Baharu, Melaka, Ipoh, Shah Alam, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Klang have their own primary hundiwalas. Major areas of the uses of cash at the intermediary stage are the same as we have found in South Korea and Japan: transfers of cash to regional hundi dealers and to businessmen for under-invoicing. However, we have identified a new user of cash in the case of Malaysia. This new category is students. Every year, thousands of Bangladeshi students are enrolling in educational institutions in Malaysia and they borrow cash from hundiwalas for their educational expenses. Hundiwalas collect the cash from their parents in Bangladesh with predetermined interest rates. The demand for hundiwalas’ funds exists because transfers of fund from Bangladesh to other countries for the purpose of education involve lengthy bureaucratic procedures, which many parents find inconvenient and ‘costly’ because of the foreign currency conversion rates and, sometimes, unprofessional conduct. In addition to the aforementioned three types of transfer methods, we also find the conventional case of hand-carry-route where primary hundiwalas themselves fly with cash and goods to Bangladesh and return to Malaysia with Bangladeshi goods to sell in ethnic stores. It is important to note that some migrants have married local Malay Muslim women and integrated into the main stream of Malaysian society. These are the individuals who have opened up shops and businesses to serve the South Asian migrants in general. Malaysia follows a liberal policy with regard to the issuing of multiple visas to Bangladeshi businessmen. This has contributed significantly to the continuation of the hundi system in Malaysia.


Remittances from Singapore

ince political independence in 1965, the Government of Singapore has pursued explicit policies to hire foreign workers temporarily and use them for building the nation. Over time, Singapore has developed transparent foreign worker programmes to hire individuals of different skill categories and effective management mechanisms to regulate and monitor the foreign manpower in the country. According to one source, the proportion of foreign workforce compared to local labour force was 30 per cent in 1999 (Yeoh et al., 1999). This proportion is projected to increase up to 35.5 per cent in 2005 and 43.9 per cent in 2010 (Lum, 1995:61). For the effective management of the foreign workforce, Singapore revises the foreign workers policies from time to time. Presently, it provides a four-fold classification of its foreign human resources: Class P, Class Q, Class S and Class R. Presently, there are around 620,000 foreign workers in Singapore (The Sunday Times, Singapore, November 13, 2005). There are approximately 50,00011 Bangladeshi migrants in Singapore in any given year since the mid-1990s. Foreign workers in Singapore may send home as much as S$180 million in one month (Asian Migration News, 15 April 2004)12. If we transform this data into a yearly figure, the figure reaches the SG$ 2.16 billion or around US$ 1.4 billion mark in a year. The official data shows that Bangladesh received only US$ 251 million between 1991 and 2004 (Table 2). To facilitate remittances from Bangladeshi nationals, Bangladeshi banks such as Agrani Bank, United Commercial Bank, National Bank, Janata Bank and Sonali Bank had established contacts in Singapore (e.g. Agrani Exchange House, Mustafa Foreign Exchange Company, Ameer-Tech Remittances Services, Balaka Exchange, DBS Bank and Indian Bank) in the mid-1990s. We also find the presence of Western Union and MoneyGram in Singapore in recent years. Despite the presence of these formal transfer mechanisms, the hundi system remains a major means of delivery of remittances from Singapore. Rahman (2003) found that 95 per cent of migrant workers remitted money through the hundi system while the remaining five per cent remitted through formal channels. Primary hundiwalas in Singapore are usually tourist visa holders who fly back and forth regularly. We find the role of secondary hundiwalas limited and, in some cases, trivial. Unlike secondary hundiwalas in South Korea and Japan, secondary hundiwalas in Singapore are mainly collaborators in the collection of cash and they usually do not charge any commission for their services. Migrant workers who intend to remit money home visit Little India on Sundays and give the cash to the trusted hundiwalas directly. There might be around 25,000 to 35,000 Bangladeshis who regularly congregate at Little India on Sunday afternoons. Primary hundiwalas visit Singapore usually on Fridays or Saturdays and they collect the cash on Sundays. They do some shopping on Mondays and leave Singapore on Monday nights or Tuesday. The dominance of flying hundiwalas in Singapore is mainly due to the geographical proximity, cheap airfare, availability of visas, the image of Singaporean goods in the minds of Bangladeshis and the culture of ‘Sunday gathering’ in Little India. It is important to note


here that electronics, cosmetics and gold ornaments from Singapore (not necessarily made in Singapore) have a positive image particularly in the migrant-sending districts in Bangladesh, in terms of quality; and, this image produces a sustained demand for Singaporean goods in Bangladesh, which hundiwalas have come to supply (see Appendix 1). The operation of the system is simple: collect cash from migrants; use the cash to purchase different types of goods; return to home country with goods; sell them in the local markets for tidy profits. On the return journey, they carry goods to sell in Bangladeshi shops in Singapore. Over time, several dozens of Bangladeshi shops have come into being in Singapore to serve Bangladeshi migrant workers. In the case of Singapore, hundiwalas usually do not collect money from many migrants. They usually take the cash from 30 to 50 migrants and then, upon their return home, they send close relatives or family members to pay the cash to the migrants’ families. The relations among migrants, hundiwalas and migrants’ families are much more personal in this case and they are tied by reciprocity. Some hundiwalas also transfer cash to hundi dealers in Singapore with commission. However, some changes have taken place in recent years that are threatening the existence of the hundi system in Singapore. One influential factor is the imposition of visa restrictions on Bangladeshis after 9/11. Presently, it takes up to ten days to get the visa. Formal players like MTOs (Western Union and MoneyGram) and several exchange houses are presently taking advantage of the absence of large number of hundiwalas which is reflected on the recorded remittances data, in which we can see a sharp rise in total flow of remittances from Singapore in the last three years (see Table 2).




his paper has attempted to advance our understanding of channels of migrant workers’ remittances in East and Southeast Asia by illustrating the remittances routes of Bangladeshis who are working as migrant workers in Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore. The paper reports that, despite the presence of formal remittances systems, the majority of migrants choose to send remittances through informal mechanisms, particularly the hundi system. Migrants use the hundi system for a variety of reasons; the most important are trust, speed, transaction-cost-free, door-to-door service and cultural convenience. The infrastructure of the hundi system found in East and Southeast Asia is unique in composition and operation. There are two types of actors in the hundi system: hundi dealers and hundiwalas. Hundi dealers are money businessmen who are usually situated at the heart of regional financial activities and engaged in the dealing of large sums of money. On the other hand, hundiwalas are usually migrant entrepreneurs who take advantage of their migration capital accrued over time by virtue of their prior migration experience in the region. Unlike hundi dealers, they are physically involved in the collection and distribution process. The paper has reported three phases in hundi transaction involving first mile (host country), intermediary stage and the last mile (home country). Unlike players in formal funds transfer systems, hundiwalas in the informal system visit the migrant workers’ residences or usual meeting places to collect the cash. Given their tight working schedule, migrants find the system much more convenient and accessible. We identify some differences in the collection of cash in the four countries studied. While hundiwalas in Japan use ethnic shops as a collection point, hundiwalas in the other three countries physically approach the prospective remitters to collect the cash. Primary hundiwalas is defined as individuals who are in charge of the overall remittances process and who employ collaborators to assist in the collection and distribution of cash in both ends. These collaborators, except those in South Korea and Malaysia where they are sometimes paid a commission for their services, usually offer their services free due to reciprocity between themselves, the migrants and the migrants’ families. Hundiwalas build trust among the migrant communities in host countries by using several links for example, prior migration experience, district belonging, kinship networks, peer networks and contacts with prominent persons from the source community. The news of successful dealings by a particular hundiwala creates a spillover effect in migrant communities in both host and home countries, engendering further reliability and efficiency of the specific hundiwala. Hundiwalas are under continued social pressure to uphold the trust of migrant workers; and failure to maintain the trust leads to permanent damage of reputation and eventual cessation of business. We have explained how migrant workers’ money is used and re-used at the intermediary stage to make profit. We have found the involvement of different interest groups, for instance, businessmen and regional hundi dealers at the intermediary stage and how their involvement has not hampered the transfer process; rather, it has made the process smoother and more profitable for the hundiwalas.

The collection and use and re-use of funds at the intermediary stage depend on the status of the migrants (regular or irregular), labour migrant admission programs of the host countries (‘trainee’ or ‘migrant worker program’) and the geo-political location of the host countries. We have found some similarities in the use and re-use of funds between Japan and South Korea in East Asia and between Malaysia and Singapore in Southeast Asia. In East Asia, a sizeable amount of remittances is used for the purpose of business underinvoicing and the hundi dealers play a dominant role in the transfer of cash. On the other hand, in Southeast Asia, remittances are spent for different purposes including purchase of goods and commodities to sell in the home country for a profit and hundiwalas play a much more important role in the transfer process. However, in all cases, hundiwalas are liable to migrants and their families for the delivery of their cash. The hundi system in Singapore prevails with all its peculiarities. We find hundiwalas fly to Singapore weekly, particularly Saturdays, so as to collect the funds on Sundays from ‘Sunday gathering’ spots at Little India. Migrant workers who need to remit money home visit Little India to meet their familiar hundiwalas and pass the cash for transfers. Hundiwalas return home on Mondays or Tuesdays with goods to sell in the local markets. These goods bear social and economic value in Bangladesh in general and many migrant-source districts in particular because the possession of such goods provides a context to claim higher social status in some source areas. Singapore as a global city is well-connected in the region and the rest of the world in different ways. One of these is the financial connectedness in the global economy. Singapore as a regional financial hub follows a liberal policy for transfers of funds internationally and this has made Singapore a regional ‘hundi hub’ as well. Different interest groups who are in need of transferring funds internationally make use of Singapore’s financial facilities, resulting in the migrants’ remittances costs to be almost free of charge. From the security perspective, migrant remittances are a subject of security concern because many of security experts assume that the funds may fall into the hands of terrorists and, therefore, suggest securitization of remittances, although little evidence is available to provide a basis for such concern. Such a security concern has built up especially after the 9/11 attack in the USA. It is important to note that the hundi system has developed in the region following the migration of Bangladeshis in the late 1980s and it was never viewed as a security issue until recently. While there may be loopholes for the use of remittances for unlawful purposes, the question that needs consideration is who will gain and who will lose from the increasing securitization of remittances in the region. Given the recent rise in the use of official channels, it is clear that formal institutions including banks and money transfer operators like Western Union and MoneyGram have benefited from increasing inflow of remittances. Yet, if we look from the migrant workers’ perspective, it is obvious that they are the losers from this increasing securitization process because they are not getting the best deal in funds transfers. Migrant workers who are migrating to the regional host countries spend several thousand dollars of their own money to arrange the work visa for a definite period which is usually one to two years. They arrange for the financial cost of migration by selling their lands, borrowing from money lenders with high interest rates and dispossessing other family valuables including live-stock, gold ornaments of the women

folks, houses, etc. As they are not financially supported by the State’s financial mechanism in the form of soft loans or other financial packages at the pre-migration stage, they risk their family funds to migrate. Such risks often lead to the deterioration of economic viability of the families as the debt they incur due to the short-term migration is often unprocurable during one time sojourn forcing them to opt for remigration—a phenomenon that produces a generation of ‘re-migrants’. As this is a migration at the level of individual financial arrangements, migrant workers, therefore, deserve the right to select the most economical and convenient route of funds transfers. Given the facilities and benefits available through the hundi system against the formal funds transfer system, we opine that migrant workers have the rights to go for a channel of remittances where they can get a better deal for their every hard-earned dollar. This paper does not view remittances as a security issue, but as a social process organized through networks of migrants and former migrants and forged through different interpersonal connections. Hundi is founded on social infrastructures comprising of common bonds of kinship, friendship, regional belonging and prior migration experience which get adopted and transformed through reciprocity and together compose a web of interconnecting social relationships that supports the transfers of migrants’ savings internationally.



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9 10



The term ‘migrant remittances’ generally refers to ‘transfers in cash or kind from migrants to resident households in the country of origin’ (Bilsborrow et al., 97: 321). As this study aims to discuss the hundi system, a specific type of informal system found in East and Southeast Asia, in relation to the experience of Bangladeshi migrant workers, we are not providing details about other informal systems in our study. For details about other informal funds transfer systems, see Passas, 1999; Puri and Ritzema, 1999; Bezard, 2002; Buencamino and Gorbunov, 2002; IMF and World Bank, 2002; Morais, 2002; APEC, 2003; El-Qorochi et al. 2003; FATF, 2003; Gavito, 2003; Maimbo, 2003; Mellyn, 2003; Schott, 2003; Bagasao, 2004; Hernandez-Coss, 2004; Horst, 2004; Seddon, 2004. Information regarding Western Union and MoneyGram was compiled from their websites; see and accessed on 18 November 2005 This cumulative figure comes from the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET), the official source of Bangladesh. The BMET is responsible for keeping the records of authorized migrant workers. However, it does not keep records for returning migrants. Information on different banks involved in remittance in Bangladesh and overseas is compiled from Bangladesh Bank website: accessed on 9 November 2005. Compiled from Ministry of Justice website, accessed on January 14, 2006 It is common practice among migration scholars to avoid the use of the term ‘illegal’ as it criminalizes migrants indiscriminately. Instead, the terms ‘undocumented’, ‘irregular’ and ‘unauthorized’ have been used to indicate that migrants either enter without proper documentation or engage in work for which they may not have the right visa. Source: Ryugakusei Ukeire no Gaikyo (General state of accepting foreign students in Japan), Student Exchange Division, Higher Education Bureau report, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, cited in Web Japan. accessed on 14 November 2005 5:11 pm Interview of a Bangladeshi student in Kobe, July 7, 2005 In luggage business, individuals fly to another country to buy goods and return home with those goods in their luggage to sell in the local market. Selection of goods is very important in this business. Such businessmen can make profit by evading tax and choosing high demand goods that can produce higher profits in the home country. The actual number of Bangladeshi migrants in Singapore is not available from both sources— Singapore and Bangladesh. We used newspaper reports to base our estimate of the number of Bangladeshi migrants in Singapore. Local news paper reported, “Every year, more than 30,000 Bangladeshi workers sell their land and cattle, and borrow money so that they can come here (Singapore)” (The Straits Times, ‘The Journey of Hope’, 18 December 1999). We, therefore, estimate that there would be around 50,000 Bangladeshi migrants in Singapore in a given year since the mid-1990s. However, recent inflow of Bangladeshi migrants is declining. As many of the present migrants have passed the skill tests and obtained renewal for long time stay because of their multiple skills, the decline in the inflow of new migrants may not produce significant changes in the size of the total number of Bangladeshi migrants. There is no official record of the amount migrant workers remit (Asian Migration News, April 15, 2004). See also, Li Xueying, ’$180m - that's what workers send home’, The Straits Times, 11 April 2004.


Appendix 1

Risky business in Little India 1 August 1999, The Straits Times (Singapore) EVERY Sunday evening, thousands of dollars change hands in a carpark and a field near Serangoon Plaza. As evening shadows deepen, the handful of foreign workers swells to thousands and small clusters form around each hundi man. Hundi means "remittance" in Bengali. People who live and work in Little India told The Sunday Times team it was on dangerous ground looking into the hundi business. "They are fearsome men," one said of the hundi and their bodyguards. As we approached a hundi, his burly phalanx of protectors tightened. A man demanded coarsely: "What you want?" He gesticulated at the team and shouted something in Bengali. As four or five bodyguards closed in, The Sunday Times team sought the relative safety of Serangoon Plaza. ATTRACTIVE RATES THE hundi is the Bangladeshis' link to home, the channel through which they send money to their families. Though there are five official remittance agencies here for Bangladeshis, they prefer the hundi's rates. At this money market, the hundis and their runners broadcast their rates. A worker picks his hundi, tells him who the money should go to and his address, and hands over the cash. The hundi records the details in a notebook, sealing the deal with a handshake and a promise. "They offer attractive rates," said Mr Ripon Miah, 25, a cleaner who has used a hundi since 1997. Where an official agency may offer 28 taka for S$1, hundis can offer 29 taka or more, because, unlike the agencies, they can avoid being taxed in Bangladesh. Official agencies first exchange Singapore money for US dollars, then for taka in Bangladesh. They levy an administrative fee; the hundis do not. The hundi's way: Collect money, buy electronics goods or gold here to sell back home. Deliver the promised sum. Make a tidy profit. "They carry the goods in their luggage, so they can say it's for their own use," said a Bangladeshi High Commission spokesman. They jet in on tourist visas and go home laden. They stand out in the clusters, carrying cellular phones and wearing longsleeved shirts. An "average" operator may take $30,000 each trip since a worker usually sends home about $400 each time. Some workers act as runners for the hundis. This led the Singapore Contractors Association to remind its members in a circular in April - "on police advice" it said - that such work-permit holders violate the Foreign Workers Act. It said: "Recently, many remitters who remit money on behalf of foreign workers, have become victims of snatch thefts, robberies and even murder."


HOODWINKED YET it could give no figures on workers caught moonlighting in this way, or cite any report of a foreign worker getting cheated. Nor could the Manpower Ministry supply such figures. The large sums they carry make this a risky business for hundis, runners and clients alike because they are such tempting targets. Between January and June, there were six robberies involving people who visited banks or money-changers. The police would not say if foreigners were involved. On June 27, Bangladeshi worker Rony Rahman, 28, was robbed of $20,000, had three fingers on his right hand chopped off and three on his left were almost severed. He was waylaid by six men with parangs while taking money to a remittance agency. He was fortunate they did not find the other $20,000 he had kept in another pocket. On May 23, Mr Mohamed Matin, 36, was robbed of about $10,000 and slashed with a chopper. Workers have been known to beat up a hundi if they think he has cheated them. So the hundi must show proof of delivery: perhaps a strip of paper, bearing the name and signature of the person in Bangladesh. Like some, Mr Miah, calls home to double-check. "When I see my father's signature, I telephone to confirm he has got the money." He was confident he would not be bilked because he knows where his hundi lives. "If anything wrong, I can find him at his house in Bangladesh," he said. FIGHTS AND CHEATS OTHERS are not so lucky. A 28-year-old man, who gave his name only as Robbi, said it worked the first time, but the $500 he sent the second time never got to his parents, and he could not track the hundi down. "You work so hard, then they just take your money and run. I don't want to trust them again," he said. He now uses an official agency. Fights often break out when workers find that a hundi has not done the job. Mr Munurul Islam recalled that once, several of his friends helped someone who had been cheated to find his hundi, who denied ever receiving the money. A fight broke out and the hundi's bodyguards pulled out knives. They fled when the police arrived. Sometimes, workers may complain to their High Commission, but little can be done since there is no receipt or documentation that money has changed hands. The Registry of Companies and Businesses said that running an unlicensed hundi business is an offence under Section 5 of the Business Registration Act. Offenders can be jailed up to six months or fined up to $1,000, or both. The high commission advises workers to remit money through official agencies. It also plans to tell Bangladeshi workers before they come here about the dangers of using a hundi. Meanwhile, this evening, the unofficial money market goes on.



Asian MetaCentre Research Paper Series No. 1 Age-Sex Pattern of Migrants and Movers: A Multilevel Analysis on an Indonesian Data Set Aris Ananta, Evi Nurvidya Anwar and Riyana Miranti Asian MetaCentre Research Papaer Series No. 2 The Future Population of China: Prospects to 2045 by Place of Residence and by Level of Education Cao Gui-Ying Asian MetaCentre Research Paper Series No. 3 Singapore’s Changing Age Structure and the Policy Implications for Financial Security, Employment, Living Arrangements and Health Care Angelique Chan Asian MetaCentre Research Paper Series No. 4 The Effect of Social Interaction on Desired Family Size and Contraceptive Use Among Women in Bangladesh Lisa Marten Asian MetaCentre Research Paper Series No. 5 Modeling Contraceptive Prevalence in Bangladesh: A Hierarchical Approach E.M. Nazmul Kalam and H.T. Abdullah Khan Asian MetaCentre Research Paper Series No. 6 Health Consequences of Population Changes in Asia: What Are the Issues? (A summary paper from an Asian MetaCentre workshop held in Bangkok, Thailand, 13-14 June 2002) Asian MetaCentre Research Paper Series No. 7 Age Structural Transition and Economic Growth: Evidences from South and Southeast Asia Kannan Navaneetham Asian MetaCentre Research Paper Series No. 8

Asians on the Move: Spouses, Dependants and Households (Special collection of papers by Chotib, Siew-Ean Khoo, Salut Muhidin, Zhou Hao and S.K. Singh) Asian MetaCentre Research Paper Series No. 9 The Relationship Between Formal and Familial Support of the Elderly in Singapore and Taiwan Angelique Chan, Ann E. Biddlecom, Mary Beth Ofstedal and Albert I. Hermalin Asian MetaCentre Ressearch Paper Series No. 10 Organisations that Care: The Necessity for an Eldercare Leave Scheme for Caregivers of the Elderly in Singapore Theresa W. Devasahayam Asian MetaCentre Ressearch Paper Series No. 11 The “Flight from Marriage” in South-East and East Asia Gavin W. Jones Asian MetaCentre Ressearch Paper Series No. 12 Fertility and the Family: An Overview of Pro-natalist Population Policies in Singapore Theresa Wong and Brenda S.A. Yeoh Asian MetaCentre Ressearch Paper Series No. 13 Strategies and Achievements in Expanding Lower Secondary Enrollments: Thailand and Indonesia Gavin W. Jones Asian MetaCentre Ressearch Paper Series No. 14 Infant Mortality in a Backward Region of North India: Does Ethnicity Matter? Santosh Jatrana Asian MetaCentre Ressearch Paper Series No. 15 Factors Associated with Contraceptive Discontinuation in Bali, Indonesia: A Multilevel Discrete-time Competing Risks Hazard Model Evi Nurvidya Arifin Asian MetaCentre Ressearch Paper Series No. 16 Explaining Gender Disparity in Child Health in Haryana State of India

Santosh Jatrana Asian MetaCentre Ressearch Paper Series No. 17 Migration and Health in China: Problems, Obstacles and Solutions Xiang Biao Asian MetaCentre Ressearch Paper Series No. 18 Water Resources, Land Exploitation and Population Dynamics in Arid Areas - The Case of Tarim River Basin in Xinjiang of China Jiang Leiwen, Tong Yufen, Zhao Zhijie, Li Tianhong, Liao Jianhua Asian MetaCentre Ressearch Paper Series No. 19 Health Concerns of ‘Invisible’ Foreign Domestic Maids in Thailand Mika Toyota


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...Performance Appraisal Student’s Name University Affiliation Performance Appraisal Introduction Every organization aims at directing all their efforts and resources in ensuring that they meet the goals and the objectives that are set by the organization. The main aim of any organization is making sure that they maximize on their profits and also minimize their cost. To be able to do this, the company must make sure that all the efforts and resources are well oriented to the success of the organization and in making sure that there is a good oversight system in place to help make sure that there are little or no deviations from the organizational goals and objectives. This is why performance appraisal is very important for any organization. Performance appraisal is defined as a system or a method through which the quality of the employees work is gauged to help guide them in to developing their careers and also to help the organization in achieving success in their objectives. Performance appraisal is the process that involves collecting data analyzing it and also recording it to help keep track of individual employees in an organization and also to measure the relative worth of the an employee to an organization. A performance appraisal analyses various aspects of an employees including aspect such as their success, their failures, individual strength as well as weakness, how they manage pressure situations and how well they work under these situations, their suitability...

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...EFFICIENCY OF EXISTING PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEM FOR OFFICERS IN SRI LANKA NAVY BY LCdr (ASW) TR DANIEL PGD in Defence Management Naval and Maritime Academy (Accredited to General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University) DECLARATION I declare that this dissertation contains no material which has been accepted for the award of any other degree or diploma in any university or equivalent institution, and that to the best of my knowledge and belief, contains no material previously submitted or written by any other person, except where due reference is made in the text of this Dissertation. I carried out the work described in this under the supervision of Captain (ND) KJ Kularathne, RSP,Psc,MSc(D&SS) ........................................................ Date:.......................... TR DANIEL 7001 COMMENTS OF THE SUPERVISOR ..................................................... Date ........................................ KJ KULARATHNE,RSP,Psc,MSc(D&SS) Captain (ND) Sri Lanka Navy ABSTRACT Sri Lanka Navy is one of the largest organization in Sri Lanka with nearly 55000 men & women are working to date .SLN is not only one of the largest, but also diverse as more than 20 major professions are cohesion to form this organisation. Officers form the backbone of this large organisation; SLN and better performance of officers is a necessity to achieve organisational...

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Performance Appraisal

...Research Paper The role of performance appraisal system on the development of human resource of Komenda College of education Introduction In every administration, whether private or public, there exist laid down aims and objectives that are to be achieved within a specific period. Nevertheless, these cannot be possible if the organisation focuses only on its financial and physical resources. There is therefore the need to concentrate on the human resource as well. This is necessary because it is only the people who are employed in the institution that can put together both the financial and physical resources of the institution in order to achieve its aims and objectives. With this in mind, each institution has to take the planning of its human resource as one of the most important issue. Pinnington and Edwards (2000) have defined “human resource planning as “the systematic and continuing process of analysing an organisation’s human resource needs under changing conditions and developing personnel policies appropriate to the long-term effectiveness of the organisation”(pp. 22). Cascio (1996) indicated that this can be done quarterly, bi-annually or annually and through some interrelated activities stated by Cascio (1996) and which include the following: i. Personnel inventory which is done to assess the current human resource base and how they are currently being used. ii. Human...

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Performance Appraisal

...A PROJECT REPORT ON “EMPLOYEE’S PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL” FOR ANIL INDUSTRIES KATNI PVT. LTD. SUBMITTED TO MODY INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY AND SCIENCE SUBMITTED BY VISHAKHA KEWLANI (BATCH – 2011-2014) GUIDED BY DR. AJAY VERMA DECLARATION I, the under signed, hereby declare that the project report entitled “Performance Appraisal” is a research work made for Anil Industries Katni Pvt. Ltd. is genuine and benefited work presented by me under the guidance of Dr.. The empirical findings in this project report are based on the data collected by me. The matter presented in this report is not copied from any source. I understand that any such copy is liable to the punishment in way the university authority deems fit. The project Report is submitted to Mody Institute of Technology and Science, in the partial fulfillment of the Bachelor’s Degree course in Business Administration. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS My training at Anil Industries Katni Pvt., Ltd. was a great experience to gain the knowledge one could acquire about Human Resource. The practical knowledge that I have gained during this training period has helped me tremendously to improve my knowledge about Performance appraisal system. I am extremely thanked to Mr. Ishwar Kewlani (Manager, HR.) who gave me an opportunity to work in such a highly esteemed organization. I would like to express my deep sense of gratitude to Mr. Sandeep Kewlani for his inspiring guidance, constant encouragement...

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Performance Appraisal

...MISUNDERSTANDING OF PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL What is an appraisal? An appraisal is discussion between an employee and the immediate supervisor which provides a forum for the employee to reflect on his/her performance, discuss career aspirations and development needs and receive feedback, It also ensures that the employee is clear about what is expected in terms of work objectives and standards of performance. Why employees are appraised • • • An appraisal is designed to ensure that employees are in tune with developments in the business. To ensures that individuals and teams are managed to achieve ‘high levels of organizational performance’ To encourage people to link their performance to the objectives of the organization and respond to increased competition within the industry. Importance of Performance Appraisals It is important to be appraised because performance appraisals provide employees and managers with opportunities to discuss areas in which employees excel and those in which employees need improvement. Performance appraisals are conducted once a year as per ATS policy. Results of an Appraisal The following are possible results of performance appraisal • Promotions – The process of performance appraisal helps the employer identify employees with potential to grow further in their careers, these employees will considered for promotions based on the availability of a suitable vacancy Demotions – Employees who are found to be performing below the expected standards will...

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...Republic of the Philippines Polytechnic University of the Philippines Quezon City Campus Don Fabian Street, Commonwealth, Quezon City A Research Paper “The Implementation of Performance Appraisal System in Small Scale Businesses in Quezon City” In Partial fulfillment of the Requirements for the subject Fundamentals of Research Presented to: Prof. Diana Lee Tracy K. Chan By Grutas, Princess May T. Rivero, Jubelle A. Sta.Ana, Babylyn E BSBA HRDM 3-1N S.Y 2013-2014 CERTIFICATION This Undergraduate Research entitled “Implementation of Performance Appraisal in Small Scale Businesses in Quezon City” prepared and submitted by Princess May T. Grutas, Jubelle A. Rivero and Babylyn E. Sta. Ana, in fulfillment of the requirements for the course FUNDAMENTALS OF RESEARCH has been examined and recommended for approval. DIANA LEE TRACY K. CHAN, MEM Adviser APPROVAL SHEET Approval by the PANEL OF EXAMINERS on the ORAL EXAMINATION with a grade of . ROSALIE A. CORPUS, DEM Chairman ANALYN DIAZ, DEM ...

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Performance Appraisals

...Performance appraisals are a hot subject in management and organizations these days. Organizations rely on employees to complete business tasks in a timely and competent manner because their reputation may depend on the performance of its employees. It’s essential that organizations develop a performance management system to assist in evaluating their employees. The performance management system is usually used for annual employee evaluations. The performance management system can be performed in various formats such as rating employees on a scale of 1 to 10 or giving a rating of excellent, good, average, or poor. Now, that I have discussed what performance management system is, it’s time that I elaborate on an example of this system. I would like to discuss the “rank and yank” philosophy and if I agree or disagree with it. I will also discuss Burger King’s performance appraisal. According to the textbook, “rank and yank requires managers to force-rank employees according to some preset distribution” (Milkovich, Newman, and Gerhard, 2011, p.376). With this process, an organization ranks their employees against each other and then terminates the lowest end of the rankings. The terminating component of this process is considered as the yank. I have read that more than 50 percent of the Fortune 500 companies used a form of this system. But some companies use rank and yank only to get rid of their lowest performing employees in times of financial crisis. The allege purpose...

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Performance Appraisal

...Performance Appraisal system Performance appraisal is a system of review and evaluation of an individual or team’s job performance. An effective system assesses accomplishments and evolves plans for development. Performance management is a process that significantly affects organizational success by having managers and employees work together to set expectations, review results, and reward performance. Its goal is to provide an accurate picture of past and / or future employee performance. To achieve this, performance standards are established.   I. The Performance Appraisal Process Many of the external and internal environmental factors previously discussed can influence the appraisal process. Legislation requires that the appraisal systems be nondiscriminatory. The labor union might affect the appraisal process by stressing seniority as the basis for promotions and pay increases. Factors within the internal environment can also affect the performance appraisal process. The type of corporate culture can serve to help or hinder the process. Identification of specific goals is the starting point for the PA process. After specific appraisal goals have been established, workers and teams must understand what is expected from them in their tasks. Informing employees of what is expected of them is a most important employee relations task. At the end of the appraisal period, the appraiser observes work performance and evaluates it against established performance standards. The evaluation...

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Perforamnce Appraisal

...Performance appraisal Performance appraisal is a universal phenomenon in which the organization is making judgment about one is working with and about oneself. It serves as a basic element of effective work performance. Performance appraisal is essential for the effective management and evaluation of staff. It aims to improve the organizational performance as well as individual development. The history of performance appraisal is quite brief. Its roots in the early 20th century can be traced to Taylor's pioneering Time and Motion studies. As a distinct and formal management procedure used in the evaluation of work performance, appraisal really dates from the time of the Second World War - not more than 60 years ago. Performance appraisals have been increasingly implemented by most modern organization as a tool for employee assessment. Performance is an employee's accomplishment of assigned work as specified in the critical elements and as measured against standards of the employee's position. The term “Performance Appraisal” is concerned with the process of valuing a person’s worth to an organization with a view to increasing it. Traditional Appraisal system; Performance appraisal is developed as a simple method of income justification. Appraisal used to decide whether the salary of an individual was justified or not. The decrease or increase in pay depends upon employee’s performance. Modern Appraisal System: Performance appraisal is defined as a structured formal interaction...

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Performance Appraisal

...Performance Appraisal Performance appraisal is concerned with determining how well employees are doing their jobs, communicating that information to employees, agreeing on new objectives and establishing a plan for performance improvement. Performance appraisal, by providing a dynamic link to employee recruitment, selection, training and development, career planning, compensation and benefits, safety and health, and industrial relations, is a vital tool for strategy execution. It signals to managers and employees what is really important; it provides ways to measure what is important; it fixes accountability for behaviour and results; and it helps to improve performance. Finally, it’s necessary to defend the organisation against individuals who legally challenge the validity of management decisions relating to promotions, transfers, salary changes and termination. Performance appraisal may be viewed as an overall measure of organisational effectiveness: organisational objectives are met through the effort of individual employees. If employee performance is improved, the organisation will lift its performance. However, it should be noted that some experts do not accept these assumptions. Performance appraisal typically involves measuring how well an individual employee is doing their job against a set of criteria, providing feedback and creating development plan. The performance process generates information that may be used for administrative purposes and/or developmental...

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Performance Appraisals

...Willean Guiden 11-23-2014 MBA 533 An effective performance appraisal should serve as a motivational tool and justification of an implemented reward system for both the employee and manager performing the appraisal. The performance appraisal allows the manager to relate employee expectations and results to the intended employee with the ability to have a conducive conversation about results and improvement mechanisms. The employee is also able to share his or her intended career path plans with the employer and both are able to align goals in order for the intended results to be accomplished. The purpose and process of the appraisal should be explained to the employee before the appraisal procedures begin. Also, the manager should ensure that the employee understands his or her job description, qualifications and responsibilities before the appraisal meeting takes place. Previous job skills and qualifications should be discussed to better assist the employee to understand how far they have grown professionally and within the organization from the previous year(s). Quantifiable established goals should be examined and together, the manager and employee should determine whether those goals have been met. The appraisal score should be calculated after the appraisal meeting to give the manager enough time to take in consideration any statements the employee has stated. An effective performance appraisal will determine if the employee will receive a pay increase or bonus....

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...Techniques in Performance Appraisal Encourage Discussion Research studies show that employees are likely to feel more satisfied with their appraisal result if they have the chance to talk freely and discuss their performance. It is also more likely that such employees will be better able to meet future performance goals. Employees are also more likely to feel that the appraisal process is fair if they are given a chance to talk about their performance. This is especially so when they are permitted to challenge and appeal against their evaluation. Constructive Intention It is very important that employees recognize that negative appraisal feedback is provided with a constructive intention, i.e., to help them overcome present difficulties and to improve their future performance. Employees will be less anxious about criticism, and more likely to find it useful, when the belief is that the appraiser's intentions are helpful and constructive. In contrast, other studies have reported that "destructive criticism" - which is vague, ill- informed, unfair or harshly presented - will lead to problems such as anger, resentment, tension and workplace conflict, as well as increased resistance to improvement, denial of problems, and poorer performance. Set Performance Goals It has been shown in numerous studies that goal-setting is an important element in employee motivation. Goals can stimulate employee effort, focus attention, increase persistence, and encourage...

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