Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The flow of inward remittances increased slightly in September last over the previous month ahead of Eid-ul-Azha festival, officials said on Wednesday. 
The remittances from Bangladeshi nationals working abroad were estimated at US$1.026 billion in September 2013, up by $20.32 million from the level of the previous month. In August last the remittances stood at $1.005 billion, according to the central bank statistics.
“The central bank expects that the flow of inward remittances will rise further this month because of the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha festival,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka. 
The flow of inward remittance increased significantly in the last two days in September on eve of the Eid festival, the central banker said, adding that the country received more than $100 million as remittance on September 28-30. 
The country received a total of $3.270 billion during the July-September period of the fiscal year (FY) 2013-14, sustaining a negative growth of 8.10 per cent over the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, the BB data showed.
The central bank of Bangladesh earlier took a series of measures to encourage the expatriate Bangladeshis to send their hard-earned money through the formal banking channel, instead of the illegal “hundi” system to help boost the country’s foreign exchange reserve.
The country’s foreign exchange reserve rose to $16.33 billion Wednesday from $16.24 billion of the previous working, according to the BB officials. 
Most private commercial banks along with the state-owned ones are trying to increase the flow of inward remittances from the Middle East, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Singapore, Italy and the United States. 
“We’re trying to increase the inflow of remittances from different parts of the world by establishing new contacts with overseas companies,” a senior official at a leading private commercial bank said.
The private banker also said most of the banks were still serious about increasing the inflow of remittances through official channels to meet their internal foreign exchange demand.
BBN/SI/AD-02Oct13-9:22 pm (BST)