Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladeshis working abroad have remitted over US$ 917 million in October last thanks largely to the forthcoming Eid-ul-Azha festival, officials said on Thursday. 
The remittances from Bangladeshi nationals working abroad were estimated at $917.23 million in October 2010, up by $79.52 million from the level of the previous month. In September last the remittances stood at $837.71 million.
“The flow of incoming remittances increased significantly in the month of October due mainly to the ensuing Eid-ul-Azha festival,” a senior official at Bangladesh Bank (BB) said, adding that the inflow of remittances may fall slightly this month. 
The country received $3.576 billion as remittances during July-October period of the current fiscal, registering a 0.90 per cent negative growth over the corresponding period in the previous fiscal, according to the central bank statistics.
The BB earlier took a series of measures to encourage expatriate Bangladeshis to send their hard earned money through formal banking channel instead of the illegal “hundi” system to boost the country’s foreign exchange reserves.
Currently, some private commercial banks along with the state-owned ones are desperately trying to increase the flow of incoming remittances from the Middle East, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Singapore, Italy and the United States. 
“We’re trying to increase the inflow of remittances from different parts of the world through establishing new contacts with overseas companies,” a senior official at a commercial bank said.
The country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $10.838 billion Thursday, thanks to the robust growth of remittances from Bangladeshis working abroad, the BB officials added.
BBN/SSR/AD-04Nov10-8:27 pm (BST)