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Remittance inflow soaring fast

Increased by 50pc in first 15 days of October over same previous period

Published : 21 Oct 2020 09:42 PM | Updated : 22 Oct 2020 06:29 AM

The country’s remittance inflow has continued to show a record growth while keeping the economy afloat amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Remittances have crossed the $1 billion-mark to stand at $1.23 billion within only the first fifteen days in October.

The remittance inflow has increased by almost 50 percent over that in the same period of previous year, according to Bangladesh Bank data. 

This inflow witnessed a rapid growth to stand at $6.71 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of the current fiscal, up 49 percent compared to that in the same period last fiscal.

This figure was $4.45 billion in Q1 in fiscal 2019-2020.

Market analysts said expatriates have broken all previous records by sending the amount of money home in the last several months.

The remittance inflow was more than expected, they said adding that experts from home and abroad had feared less remittance in July due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Experts also said this is heartening to see that Bangladeshi expatriates are still sending remittances though millions of workers are toiling abroad amid severe conditions due to the slump in oil prices, coronavirus pandemic and other predicaments.

Expatriates are virtually providing oxygen to our economy, they added.

Dr. Atiur Rahman, former Bangladesh Bank governor, told Bangladesh Post, “The higher growth of remittance inflow now is attributed to a budget declaration of 2 percent cash incentive by the government to remitters on inward remittance since the past several months.”

Besides, the central bank has taken several initiatives including providing an easy system giving remittance to remitters as well as buying dollars directly from the market for a stable forex market, which encouraged expatriates to send money through   legal channels including banks, he added.

Atiur said, “Remittances are one of the important pillars of the economy.” 

An official of Bangladesh Bank (BB) said 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.

Bangladeshis expatriates in various countries sent home $2.15 billion in September this year, posting a 45.64 percent year-on-year growth compared to $1.47 billion remitted in the same month last year.

The country’s remittance inflow increased 35.93 percent to $1.96 billion in August against $1.44 billion in the same period of the previous year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Expatriates sent a record remittance of $2.60 billion from different foreign countries in July.

The country’s remittance inflow witnessed a record high reaching almost $2.60 billion in July, which for the first time in the history of Bangladesh crossed the remittance inflow to $2.50 billion.

This is the highest monthly remittance received in the country’s history helping push foreign currency reserves up to $40.28 billion till 14 October.

The higher growth of remittance inflow now is attributed to a budget declaration of 2 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, economists said.

The country’s remittance inflow witnessed a record growth to touch a milestone of $18.20 billion in fiscal 2019-20 despite a global economic recession amid the Covid-19 crisis. 

This inflow was 10.85 percent higher than that in the previous fiscal year.

In fiscal (FY) 2018-19, the country’s remittance inflow stood at a record high of $16.41 billion, according to BB.

This inflow increased by about 9.5 per cent in FY19 from $14.98 billion in the previous fiscal.

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.

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