Eid pushes up expats’ remittance

The country witnessed a whopping 21.20 percent rise in remittance inflow in July, with expatriate workers sending home more of their earnings on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha. The total amount of remittance sent ahead of Eid was $1.6 million compared to $1.32 billion over the same period of previous year, according to data available from Bangladesh Bank (BB).

In June this year, remittance inflow was $1.37 billion. Bankers said, “A strong dollar rate against the taka was an incentive for expats to send home their hard-earned money through proper channels, a reason why remittance flows were pushed further up.” Besides, the government’ steps encouraged expatriates to send more money at home through legal channel, which also push remittance up, they added.

On Monday, the local currency (Tk) has depreciated by Tk 0.75 to Tk 84.50 against US dollar in the interbank foreign exchange market over the same period in the previous year. A BB higher official told Bangladesh Post, the remittance inflows have increased at a record high last fiscal and continued rising, it is good news for us.

He said the government’s good initiatives increased awareness among expatriate workers to send their hard earned money through legal channels pushing up the remittance inflow.He expects that this flow will increase further on this month (August) ahead of Eid al-Azha.However, the remittance inflow increased by almost 28 percent to about $10.52 billion during January-july in current year, according to Bangladesh Bank (BB) data.

This inflow was $8.21 billion in the same period of previous year.On the other hand, 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 and $16.42 billion respectively.

Earlier, the government and Bangladesh Bank (BB) were worried over a sliding trend in remittance inflow during fiscal years 2015-17. However, the country has made a strong comeback in recent times, BB officials said.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.

Another BB official said a series of measures, taken by the central bank to encourage the expat workers to send their earnings through the formal banking channel, have also helped boost the country’s foreign exchange reserves.