Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The flow of inward remittance jumped by 16.01 per cent in May this year over that of the previous month mainly due to the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr festival.
The remittance was estimated at $1.27 billion in May 2017, up by $174.97 million from $1.09 billion in April. It was $1.21 billion in May last year, according to the central bank’s latest statistics.
Talking to BBN, a senior official of Bangladesh Bank (BB) said the low of inward remittance increased significantly in May as always happens ahead of the Eid festival.
The upward trend in inward remittance might continue until the end of this month, according to the official.
Non-Resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) usually send substantial amount of foreign currencies to their near and dear ones ahead of the religious festival, which will be celebrated in the last week of this month.
On the other hand, the overall remittance inflow dropped by 14.19 per cent or $ 1.91 billion during the 11 months (July-May) of this fiscal year (FY) against the same period of the previous FY.
The receipts came down to $11.55 billion during the period of this FY from $13.46 billion in the same period of the last FY, the BB data showed.
Some 29 exchange houses were operating across the globe, and 1,140 drawing arrangements have been set up abroad to expedite the remittance inflow, according to the central banker.
The central bank earlier took a series of measures to encourage the expatriate Bangladeshis to send their money home through formal channel, instead of illegal “hundi” system to help boost the country’s foreign exchange reserve.
Some private commercial banks (PCBs) along with the state-owned commercial banks (SoCBs) were 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 the money home,” a senior official of a PCB told BBN in Dhaka.
However, the PCBs received about $889 million in inward remittance in May while the SoCBs received $352 million, foreign commercial banks $12.65 million and specialised banks got $13.58 million, the BB data showed.
During the period under review, Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited received the highest amount of remittance ($264 million) among the PCBs while Agrani Bank Limited got the highest amount of remittance ($132 million) among the SoCBs.
Remittance is the largest source of foreign exchange for Bangladesh after export receipts.
Overseas employment growth averaged 5.2 per cent between 2010 and 2016, down from 5.8 per cent in 2006-10, according to the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
In the proposed budget for the FY 18, the government has announced the establishment of a dedicated portal for migrant workers as part of the efforts to boost the remittance inflow.
From the portal, migrant workers will have easy access to work permit-related information of their host countries, while prospective ones can get visa-related particulars as well.
The government will also encourage the private sector to explore new labour markets and send workers abroad at low cost under state initiative.
The other measures include developing training infrastructure and imparting training to migrant workers to better meet the job requirements of their host countries.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith in his budget speech said remittance inflow may rise in the upcoming fiscal year thanks to the various government initiatives and continued recovery of the global economy.