Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladeshis working abroad sent home a record nearly US$13 billion in the just concluded fiscal year following the central bank’s various moves to increase its flow, officials said.
Remittances sent by Bangladeshis working abroad reached $12.85 billion, a record in the country’s history, in the fiscal year (FY) 2011-12, marking a 10.26 per cent growth over the previous fiscal, according to the central bank statistics.
The flow of inward remittance in FY12 was a continuation of the trend in the previous fiscal year when the country received a record $11.65 billion. The growth in FY’11 was 6.03 per cent over the previous fiscal. It was 13.40 per cent in the FY’10.
“The higher remittance inflow is the outcome of our continuous efforts during the last couple of years,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka.
Bangladeshi nationals working abroad sent $1.073 billion in the month of June, less by $83.34 million than the amount remitted in the previous month. In May 2012, the remittance was $1.157 billion, the BB data showed.
The central banker also said stable exchange rate of the Bangladesh Taka (BDT) against the US dollar has also helped achieve the steady growth of inward remittance.
The central bank 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 reserve.
As part of the efforts, the central bank has, so far, given approval to establish around 60 exchange houses and set up 900 drawing arrangements abroad to expedite the inward remittance flow.
At least 17 commercial banks have already started operation of their 24 exchange houses in different parts of the world, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Italy, Oman and the United States.
“There is an ample scope to increase the remittance inflow in the near future,” Managing Director of the Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) Mohammad Abdul Mannan said, adding that the commercial banks have given attention in remittance business through improving their quality of services relating to delivery of remitted money to the beneficiaries.
Currently, the IBBL, the country’s highest remittance recipient bank, is delivering remitted money to the beneficiaries within a few minutes through its 276 branches across the country using electronic fund transfer (ETF) system, he noted.
The central bankers said higher manpower export in the last fiscal year has also contributed to boost the inflow of remittance.
Manpower export, however, increased by around 36.32 per cent to 790,000 in the FY’12 from 439, 375 of the previous fiscal year, according to official figures.
Currently, some private commercial banks along with the state-owned commercial banks are trying hard to channel remittance from the Middle East, the UK, Malaysia, Singapore, Italy and the US to Bangladesh, a senior official of a leading commercial bank said.
“We’re working continuously to increase the inflow of remittance through official channels to meet our internal foreign exchange demand,” the banker said, adding that some banks are trying to set up their own exchange houses, or making arrangements with overseas companies throughout the world.
The country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $10.45 billion on Tuesday, mainly due to the higher inflow of remittance.