National, Front Page

Remittance hits record high

Published : 15 Dec 2020 11:21 PM | Updated : 16 Dec 2020 02:32 AM

Remittance inflow hits a record $20.73 billion till December 14 this year ahead of the country’s 50th Victory Day.

The country’s remittance crossed $20 billion benchmark for the first time in the history. It is almost 42 percent more from the figure of the same time of previous year. It was $14.59 billion at the same time last year. 

Experts said expatriates are continuously sending money at home despite the coronavirus pandemic. This remittance inflow is considered as the oxygen to the country’s economy.

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

Bankers said that expatriates have been sending more money than other times as the income of many of their families decreased due to the coronavirus.

On the other hand, many expatriates returned home permanently with their savings money during the pandemic. It also helped to boost remittance flow, they added.

An official of Bangladesh Bank (BB) said that various time-befitting initiatives taken by the government have resulted in an increased awareness among expatriate workers to send their hard-earned money through legal channels, pushing up the remittance inflow.

Some economists attributed the growth in remittance inflow to a government provision of two percent cash incentive to remitters on inward remittance for the last fiscal year.

This will significantly increase the remittance inflow through legal channels and discourage the ‘hundi’ business, they said.

Dr Atiur Rahman, former Bangladesh Bank governor, told Bangladesh Post, “Expatriates are virtually providing oxygen to our economy despite they have faced many difficulties due to coronavirus pandemic.”

“The central bank has taken several initiatives, including providing remittance to remitters easily, buying dollars directly from the market with a view to keeping a stable forex market and so on. These initiatives encouraged expatriates to send their money through legal channels,” he added.

He further said, “The impact of remittance inflow in country’s economy is multidimensional. It plays a vital role in country’s economy.”

Atiur said that this is the highest monthly remittance received in the country’s history helping push foreign exchange reserves up to $42.09 billion till December 14. Definitely it is very good news for us, he added.

Zahid Hussain, former lead economist of World Bank, said, “We need to create skilled manpower for jobs abroad. Moreover, creating new job markets in the European Union (EU) and other countries will create more opportunity for accelerating the remittance inflow.”

However, 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, $14.98 billion in FY18, in $16.41 billion in FY19 and $18.20 billion in FY20 respectively, Bangladesh Bank sources said.

More than 1.02 crore Bangladeshi expatriates are currently working in some 174 countries across the world.