Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The central bank of Bangladesh has asked the commercial banks to take proper initiatives to boost inflow of remittance from the Middle-East (M-E) countries against the backdrop of its recent declining trend.

“We’ve asked the banks to intensify drives for increasing the flow of inward remittance from the Middle-East countries along with other parts of the world in the FY 12,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) said.

The flow of inward remittance from three major Middle-East countries – the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Qatar and Oman – witnessed a significant fall in last fiscal year (FY), 2010-11.

“The flow of inward remittance from the Middle-East region declined in the FY 11, mainly due to the ongoing crisis there,” another BB official said, adding that the inflow of overall remittance increased by over 6.0 per cent in the FY 11.

The inflow of remittance from the KSA decreased to US$3.290 billion in the FY 11 from $3.427 billion in the previous fiscal, while the flow of remittance from Qatar came down to $319.36 million from $360.91 million, according to the central bank statistics.

The country received a total of $334.31 million as remittance from Oman in the FY 11 against $349.08 million in the previous fiscal, while the flow of remittance from Iran dropped to $2.32 million from $4.49 million.

The BB officials said the central bank is now frequently issuing permissions to the banks for signing ‘drawing arrangement’ deals with overseas money transfer companies to facilitate flow of remittance from across the world.

Currently, some private commercial banks (PCBs), along with the state-owned commercial banks, are trying hard to channel the remittance flow from the Middle-East, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Singapore, Italy and the United States to Bangladesh.

“Some PCBs have already sent officials to the Middle-East countries to encourage the non-resident Bangladeshis for remitting their hard-earned currency through the banking channel,” a senior official of a leading private bank said.

He also said most PCBs are still serious to increase the inflow of remittance through official channel to meet their own foreign exchange demand.

Saudi Arabia topped the list of major sources of remittance for Bangladesh with $3.290 billion in the FY 11, the BB’s data showed.

The United Arab Emirates, the United States, the United Kingdom, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Malaysia, Italy, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea are the other top sources of remittance earnings for Bangladesh.

BBN/SSR/AD-12Aug11-12:28 am (BST)