Huge remittance during Ramadan

The country witnessed a whopping 39 percent rise in remittance inflow in the first fifteen days of the current month over the corresponding period of previous month. The remittance inflow has increased to $1 billion during the period from only $717 million in the same period of the previous month. The sharp rise in inward remittance flow can be attributed to Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest religious festival in the country, as most of the country’s expatriates send money to their families to meet expenses during the holy month and for Eid.

Besides, strong dollar rate against the local currency has also prompted expatriates to remit additional money. Executive Director and spokesperson of Bangladesh Bank Serajul Islam told Bangladesh Post, “Remittance inflow has recently increased as the central bank has taken a series of initiatives, including encouraging expatriates to send their hard-earned money through the banking channel instead of the illegal ‘hundi’ system.”

This flow will increase further on the days before the Eid festival, he expects. The remittance inflow stood at about $13.03 billion during the July-April period of the current fiscal while the amount was $12.09 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal, according to Bangladesh Bank (BB) data. However, the local currency Taka depreciated by Tk 0.80 to Tk 84.50 on Wednesday against US dollar from Tk 83.70 on the same day a year earlier, the BB data show.

Bangladeshi expatriates sent home $11.65 billion in FY11, $12.84 billion in FY12, $14.46 billion in FY13, $14.23 billion in FY14, $15.31 billion in FY15, $14.93 billion in FY16, $12.77 billion in FY17 and $14.98 billion in FY18 respectively. Md Adel Haque, former joint director of the central bank, told Bangladesh Post “Bangladesh’s economy is witnessing a sound growth with the constant rise in remittance earnings because of various effective initiatives of the government.”
He said the remittance inflow has maintained positive growth for several months and this flow will increase further in the upcoming months ahead of Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr.

He said Bangladeshis working abroad have to go through various problems due to lack of proficiency in foreign languages, few vocation-specific skills and poor basic formal education, putting them at risk of losing jobs. In order to boost remittance inflow further, the government should focus on addressing these issues side by side tapping new job markets like in the European region, he added.

Haque said employment of skilled labourers aboard as well as market diversification can significantly increase the remittance flow in future. Currently, 29 money exchange houses are operating across the globe with 1,205 drawing arrangements set up abroad to boost the remittance inflow, according to the BB official.

A BB official said the central bank is still working to increase remittances from across the world. The Bangladesh Bank would submit a set of recommendations to the government to boost the remittance inflow up further, he informed. He said Bangladesh Bank had been in a state of worry regarding the slide in remittance earnings during the last couple of years, but the country has now witnessed a turnaround through fetching foreign currencies in recent times.