The remittance inflow maintained a steady rise in the outgoing fiscal year 2017-18, contributing immensely to the country’s economic growth.
Government’s various initiatives, healthier Arab economy for oil price hike and stronger dollar rate at home have pushed remittance flow up significantly, said bankers and economists.
The inflow of remittance recorded more than 17 percent rise to almost $15 billion in the 2017-18 fiscal from $12.77 billion in the 2016-2017 fiscal.
However, expatriates sent home $1.11 billion in July, $1.42 billion in August, $0.85 billion in September, $1.16 billion in October, $1.21 billion in November, $1.16 billion in December, $1.37 billion in January, $1.15 billion in February, $1.30 billion in March, $1.33 billion in April and $1.48 billion in May, in FY18.
The remittance flow was $15.31 billion in fiscal 2014-15, $14.93 billion in fiscal 2015-16, $12.77 billion in fiscal 2016-17 and about $15 billion in fiscal 2017-18.
A senior official of Bangladesh Bank told Bangladesh Post: “Remittance flow has recently increased as the central bank has taken a series of initiatives. These include creation of awareness among the expatriate Bangladeshis to send their hard-earned money through the banking channel instead of the illegal “hundi” system.”
Economists said remittance plays a vital role in the development of the country’s economy. Hence, it is very good news that the remittance flow is rising.
The national economy could be more stable if more foreign exchanges come into Bangladesh through banking channels, he added.
The appreciating US dollar against the local currency may have helped the country reap benefit on account of remittance in recent times, but it may not last long, he said.
However, the local currency taka depreciated by Tk 3.15 or almost 4 percent to Tk 83.75 on Tuesday against US dollar from Tk 80.60 the same day a year earlier, according to BB data show.
Mehedi Hasan, vice-president and head of treasury of Jamuna Bank Limited, talking to Bangladesh Post said: “Remittance flow $15bnwas in worries on sliding trend of remittance earnings during last couple of years, but now the country has witnessed a turnaround in fetching foreign currencies.”
Md Abu Toha Biswas, senior lecturer of Asian University, told this correspondent that a large portion of remittance of the total investment is used in unproductive sector in Bangladesh.
“If remittance of expatriates is used in the productive sector, the country’s economy will be greatly benefited,” he added.
Md Adel Haque, former joint director of the central bank, told Bangladesh Post that the Middle Eastern nations have posted robust economic growth for rise in oil prices, which has helped increase the wages of expatriates. As a result, the remittance flow has increased in recent months.
Economist and former BB governor Dr Salehuddin Ahmed said: “The local currency has depreciated against US dollar over the last few months, encouraging Bangladeshis living abroad to remit more money through the formal channel.”
“Now it’s time to train up manpower for jobs abroad. This initiative will help expatriates get higher salaries and boost inflow of remittance.”