Remittance inflow reached $13.14 billion during the January-October period of this year, up by 17.83 percent over the same period in the previous year, according to Bangladesh Bank (BB) data.
The flow was $11.15 billion during the same period in 2017. Stronger dollar rate against taka, oil price hike in global market, and Bangladeshi expatriate workers remitting more money through formal channel contributed greatly to the steady rise, experts said. In October alone, expatriates remitted $1.24 billion, which was 10 percent higher than the previous month’s $1.12 billion. On the other hand, in October 2017, it was $1.16 billion.
In the month-wise breakup, remittance inflow was $1.37 billion in January, $1.14 billion in February, $1.29 billion in March, 1.33 billion in April, 1.5 billion in May, 1.38 billion in June, $1.31 billion in July, and $1.41 billion in August.
Mehedi Hasan, vice-president and head of treasury of Jamuna Bank Limited, told Bangladesh Post, “Several years ago, BB was in worries over sliding trend of remittance earnings, but now the country has been witnessing a turnaround in fetching foreign currencies.”
He said the dollar rate has gradually become stronger against taka, which encouraged expatiates to remit more money.
On Sunday, the US dollar was quoted at Tk 83.85 in the foreign exchange market, which was appreciated by Tk 3.05 or 3.77 percent from taka 80.8 a year earlier.
A senior central bank official said the BB has taken several initiatives to encourage the expatriate workers to send their money though formal channels, especially using banking channel.
The central bank has strengthened their supervision to check ‘hundi’, the illegal channel used to move funds, contributing to the rise in remittance inflow, he said.
To boost remittance, a total of 29 exchange houses are operating all over the world, he added.
The BB earlier took a series of measures to encourage the expatriates to send their hard-earned money through the formal banking channel to help boost the country’s foreign exchange reserve.
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.”
He said, “The government should ensure proper training to foreign jobseekers before sending them abroad. This will help labourers get higher salaries and thus boost inflow of remittance.”