Staff Correspondent
The country’s remittance inflow has reached a record high in January as Bangladesh expatriates now prefer sending their hard-earned money through formal channel, Bangladesh Bank officials said.
The remittance inflow, in January, has crossed $1.5 billion mark to reach $1.59 billion, which was more than 32 percent higher than the amount received in December, 15 percent up from the amount during the same period last year.
The highest amount of remittance the country received so far in a single month was $1.5 billion in May in 2017.
Stronger dollar rate against Taka and Bangladeshi expatriate workers’ remitting more money through formal channel contributed greatly to the steady rise, experts said.
The local currency Taka depreciated by Tk 4.85 or almost 6.13 per cent to Tk 83.95 on Sunday against US dollar from Tk 79.1 on the same day two years earlier, the BB data show.
However, Bangladeshi expatriates sent remittance amounting to $1.2 billion in December in 2018 and $1.38 billion in January 2018.
In terms of yearly remittance inflow, the highest amount, which was to the tune of about $15.53 billion, was received in 2018, recording a whopping 14.8 percent rise from $13.53 billion received in 2017, latest Bangladesh Bank data say.
Bangladeshi expatriates sent home $12.17 billion in 2011, $14.16 billion in 2012, $13.83 billion in 2013, $14.94 billion in 2014, $15.32 billion in 2015 and $13.61 billion in 2016 respectively.
In total, expatriate Bangladeshi workers remitted $113 billion in last 8 years, almost 110 per cent up from $53.77 billion received during the 2003-2010 period.
Economists attributed the rapid growth in remittance inflow to healthier Arab economy for oil price hike coupled with stronger dollar rate at home.
On the other hand, expat workers’ hard-earned money, sent through proper channels, immensely contributed to the increased inflow, they said.
Taking to Bangladesh Post, many senior bankers said, Bangladesh’s economy is witnessing a robust growth with the constant rise in remittance earnings because of various initiatives effective initiatives of the government.
They said Bangladesh Bank was in worries on sliding trend of remittance earnings during last couple of years but the country has made a strong comeback in recent times.
Bank Asia Managing Director and CEO Md Arfan Ali told Bangladesh Post that the remittance inflow decreased significantly in 2016 and 2017 fiscals because of oil price fall in global market side by side due to expatriate workers’ opting to remit money through informal channels like ‘hundi’.
“The remittance inflow has been in an upward trend since the last several months in the wake of a series of measures taken by the government.”
Ali said agent banking is doing a very good job by giving door-to-door remittance service, which will encourage expatriates to send their money through formal channel.
Economist and former BB governor Dr Salehuddin Ahmed said, “Bangladeshi expatriates have sent more money through the formal channel to fulfil their families’ need, which helped the remittance inflow go up.”
“Now, it’s time to train up manpower for jobs abroad. This initiative will help expatriates get higher salaries and boost inflow of remittance,” he said.