Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The flow of inward remittances fell 2.55 per cent in the just concluded fiscal year mainly because of sluggish development activities in the Middle-East, officials said.
The inflow of remittances came down to US$14.93 billion in the FY 2015-16 from $15.32 billion a year ago, according to the central bank statistics, released on Monday.
“The flow of inward remittances decreased in the FY 16 mainly due to weak development activities in the Middle-Eastern countries because of lower prices of fuel oils in the global market,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka.
He also said devaluation of the currencies of the United Kingdom, Singapore and Malaysia against the US dollar also worked as a damper.
“The Middle-Eastern countries are still our main sources of inward remittances,” the BB official explained.
Bangladeshi migrant workers residing in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Libya and Iran together accounted for about 60 per cent of the total $15.32 billion sent in by the migrant workers in the FY 15.
The remittances from Bangladeshi nationals working abroad were estimated at $1.46 billion in June 2016, up by $248.21 million from the level of the previous month. In May last the remittances stood at $1.21 billion, the BB data showed.
Currently, 33 exchange houses are operating across the globe, setting up 1143 drawing arrangements abroad, to expedite the remittance inflow, according to the central banker.
The BB earlier took a series of measures to encourage the expatriates to send their money home through the formal banking channel, instead of illegal “hundi” system, to boost the country’s foreign-exchange reserves.
Most of the private commercial banks alongside the state-owned commercial banks are trying to increase the flow of inward remittances from different parts of the world.
The remittance sources include 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 their money,” a senior official of a leading private commercial bank told BBN.