Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladesh received more than $604 million as remittance during the first 12 days in the current month ahead of the holy Ramadan and Eid-ul Fitr festival from its nationals working abroad, officials said.

Bangladesh received $ 604.16 million as remittances between June 1 and June 12 from Bangladeshi nationals who are working abroad, according to the central bank’s latest statistics, released on Thursday.

“We expect that the inflow of remittances may cross $ 1.30 billion by the end of this month ahead of the Eid-ul Fitr, the biggest religious festival for the Muslims,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka.

The remittances from Bangladeshi nationals working abroad were estimated at US$1.32 billion in May 2015, up by $21.40 million from the level of the previous month. In April last, the remittances stood at $1.30 billion. It was $1.21 billion in May, 2014.

He also said the central bank is working continuously to expedite the flow of inward remittance from different part of the world.

The BB earlier took a series of measures to encourage the expatriate Bangladeshis to send their hard-earned money through the formal banking channel, instead of the illegal “hundi” system to help boost the country’s foreign exchange reserve.

The country’s foreign exchange reserve rose to $24.64 billion on Thursday from $24.49 billion of the previous day following the higher inflow of remittances.