Remittance sees remarkable growth

The country’s remittance inflow witnessed a remarkable growth during the first 10 months of 2019 for the government’s several steps including cash incentive for remitters. The remittance inflow stood at almost $15.08 billion during January-October in 2019, according to the Bangladesh Bank (BB).

This inflow increased by about 25.62 percent at the time from only $12 billion in the same period of the previous year. Experts said, the government’s good initiatives, especially cash incentive for remitters increased awareness among expatriate workers and encouraged them to send their hard earned money through legal channels pushing up the remittance inflow.

Besides, strong dollar rate against taka also helped to increase remittance inflow as remitters got more money, he added. Now, expats have got 2 percent cash incentive on their remitted amount since July 1 in the current year. However, the local currency (Tk) has depreciated by Tk 0.90 to Tk 84.75 on Monday over the same period in the previous year. BB officials said, remittance inflows increased at a record high last fiscal and continued, it is good news for us.

Remittance inflow stood at $1.65 billion in October in 2019, up 33.13 percent from $1.23 billion in the same period of the previous year. In the first four months of the current fiscal, this increased by almost 20 percent to $6.16 billion over that in the same period of the previous year. 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 and $14.98 billion in FY18 respectively.

Earlier, the government and the 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, thanks to some good steps taken by the government, BB officials said.

“In FY 2018-19, Bangladesh received a record $16.4 billion remittances from about 12 million overseas workers. With the same number of people working abroad, the remittance can be over $100 billion, if only this young population is trained in new technologies,” said ADB country director Manmohan Parkash while addressing an event in the capital recently.

Experts said, to push the remittance inflow further up, the government should focus on creating skilled manpower for the overseas job market. Lead Economist of World Bank, Dr Zahid Hussain, told Bangladesh Post, “The remittance has recently increased as local currency taka has depreciated against US dollar side by side oil price hike abroad.”

Hussain pointed out that Bangladeshi expatriate workers, who speak little English, have poor basic formal education and few vocational industry-specific skills, often face severe job insecurities. Hence, the government should immediately solve these problems and focus on boosting remittance flow which will help increase foreign exchange reserve.

The government should train up local workers as skilled labour before sending them abroad, Zahid said, adding that Bangladesh should build good relations with other countries for sending more skilled workers abroad, which will boost up remittance flow significantly.

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