National, Front Page

Remittance flow soaring

Published : 14 Jun 2022 09:48 PM | Updated : 15 Jun 2022 04:34 PM

Remittance inflows witnessed a rising trend again as the devaluation of money and incentives to remitters are having positive effects on remittances.  

Now, if the expatriates send one dollar to the country, the relatives can get about Tk 95 toTk 96 with incentive.

If they send it through a state-owned bank, they are getting a little more money. This is because the banks are providing incentives at a total rate of 3 percent by adding an additional 0.50 percent to the government incentive of 2.50 percent.

After a fairly good amount of remittance poured in April-May, the momentum has increased further in June, the last month of the current fiscal year 2021-22. Expatriates have sent $594.10 million in the first 9 days of this month.

Economists and bankers have expressed hope that remittance inflows will further increase in the country ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.

Md Serajul Islam, spokesperson and executive director of Bangladesh Bank, said, “More remittances come all the time before Eid as expatriates send more money to their relatives for expenses ahead of the festivals. Last month (May) came a little less. It will increase again next month because Eid-ul-Azha is ahead. Then again, the expatriates will send more remittances which is normal.”

“Incentives have increased. The value of the dollar is also higher. Expatriates sent more money to their families in April ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr. Good remittances have also come in the month following Eid. Eid-ul-Azha is ahead. Rising fuel prices will boost remittances from Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries. All in all, it seems that remittances will increase in the coming days,” he added.

Mohammed Shams-Ul Islam, managing director of Agrani Bank Ltd, said, “Remittances sent through banks are almost the same as those received with incentives when sent through hundi. That is why everyone is now sending money to the country through banking channels. As a result, the remittance is rising again. 

Economists said during the Corona period, the remittances have increased rapidly in the country. 

Experts said expatriates were continuously sending money home despite the coronavirus pandemic. 

 They said the remittance flow rapidly increased through official channels during the pandemic due to travel restrictions imposed by most of the countries in an effort to combat the COVID-19.

As a result, this has significantly increased the remittance inflow through legal channels and discouraged the ‘hundi’ business, they said.

Although for several months, this inflow had a downtrend, various time-befitting initiatives taken by the government resulted in an increased awareness among expatriate workers to send their hard-earned money through legal channels, pushing up the remittance inflows again, they mentioned.

However, the government has taken various initiatives for the welfare of both expatriate workers and workers returning from abroad to boost remittance inflow.

Foreign Secretary Masood bin Momen has already sent a letter to 81 Bangladesh missions abroad to take urgent steps to increase the flow of remittances from expatriates to keep the foreign exchange reserves consolidated.

However, expatriates sent $1.88 billion in remittances in May this year which decreased by 13 percent as compared to the same month of last year.

In the same period of previous year, it was $2.17 billion. 

Eid-ul-Fitr was celebrated in the country on May 3. Expatriates sent a total of $2.09 billion remittance to the country in April ahead of Eid. It was the highest amount in a single month of the current fiscal year.

This means remittance fell by $125 million or 6.23 percent in a month.

This important index of the economy increased last December and January after a decline for five consecutive months (July-November 2021). In December and January, remittance was $1.63 billion and $1.70 billion respectively.

In February, this inflow stumbled again as expatriates sent $1.49 billion during the time.

On the other hand, the country’s migrants sent home $1.86 billion in March ahead of Ramadan this year, which is 25 percent more than that in the previous month and also the highest in the past eight months.

However, the country received $22.07 billion in remittances in 2021, which was more than that in any other year in the history of Bangladesh. This inflow was $21.78 billion in 2020 and $18.33 billion in 2019.