Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The flow of inward remittances fell by 5.20 per cent in February over the previous month mainly due to the ongoing political unrest, officials said.
The Bangladesh nationals working abroad sent US$1.18 billion in February 2015. The amount was lower by $64.62 million than the level of remittance receipts in the previous month. In January, the remittance inflows stood at $1.24 billion. It was $1.17 billion in February 2014.
“The inflow of remittances decreased during the period under review   due mainly to the lack of investment-friendly environment,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka.

The political stability usually plays an important role in increasing the inward remittance as a significant portion of the remittance is used in investment, the central banker explained.

Bangladesh received $9.91 billion during the July-February period of current fiscal year (FY) 2014-15, registering a 7.63 per cent growth over the corresponding period of the last fiscal, the BB data showed.
The inflow of inward remittance had increased in the first half of the FY 15 following normal political situation in Bangladesh. But such increased trend in the inward remittance faced a setback in January that continued until February due to the political uncertainty.

The central bank earlier took a series of measures to encourage the expatriate Bangladeshis to send their money through the 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 commercial banks are desperately trying to increase the flow of inward remittances from the Middle East, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Italy and the United States.

“We’re establishing new contacts with overseas exchange houses so that our overseas workers can easily send home money,” a senior official of a commercial bank told BBN.

BBN/SSR/AD-02Mar15-5:06 pm (BST)