Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The flow of remittances rose by nearly 10 per cent in the first eight months of the current fiscal year, despite significant falls in February 2019.

Bangladeshi nationals working abroad sent $10.40 billion home during the July-February period of the FY 2018-19 from $9.46 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal.

In February, remittances amounted to US$1.32 billion home in February, down by $273.12 million in January, according to the central bank’s latest statistics.

The inflow was $1.59 billion in January 2019.

While remittances slumped by over 17 per cent in February, compared with a month earlier, it expanded by nearly 15 per cent to $1.15 billion in February 2018, the Bangladesh Bank (BB) data showed.

Talking to the BBN, a BB senior official said the flow of overall inward remittance continues to maintain an upward trend due to the depreciation of local currency against the US dollar.

The official and senior bankers said the flow of inward remittances increased significantly in the first eight months of this fiscal following higher exchange rate of the US dollar against the local currency along with strong monitoring by the central bank to curb illegal fund transfers.

The Bangladesh Taka (BDT) depreciated by 20 poisha against the greenback in the inter-bank foreign exchange market from January 03 to February 26, mainly due to higher demand for the greenback.

The US dollar was quoted at BDT 84.15 each in the inter-bank foreign exchange market on February 26 against BDT 84.12 of the previous working day. It was BDT 83.90 on January 02.

It also remained unchanged at BDT 84.15 on Sunday.

Currently, 29 Bangladeshi exchange houses are operating across the world along with more than 1,200 drawing arrangements abroad to boost the remittance inflow.

The central bank of Bangladesh had 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, which can help boost the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

Most of the private commercial banks along with the state-owned commercial banks are trying to increase the flow of inward remittances from different part of the world including the Middle East, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Italy and the United States.

“Most of the banks are establishing new contacts with overseas exchange houses so that the migrant workers can easily send home money,” a senior official of a leading private commercial bank told the BBN.