Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)-The flow of inward remittances crossed US$1.0 billion-mark again in January after falling trend of consecutive two months as different initiatives, taken by authorities concerned, to check inflow of the same using illegal ‘hundi’ system.
The remittances from Bangladeshi nationals working abroad were estimated at $1.01 billion in January last, up by $50.71 million than that of the previous month. In December 2016, the remittance was $958.73 million. It was $951.37 million in November last year.
The flow of inward remittances was $1.15 billion in January 2016.
Talking to BBN, a senior official familiar with the latest initiatives said the government as well as the central bank has already taken different measures to revamp the flow of inward remittances shortly.
As part of the moves, a research group is now working to find out various issues including the flow of inward remittances using illegal channel.
The group is now collecting information relating to inward remittances from different part of the country, according to the official.
He also said two teams will visit Malaysia, Singapore, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) shortly in this connection.
The inflow of overall remittances dropped by nearly 17 cent in the first seven months of the current fiscal year (FY) against the same period of the last fiscal.
The remittance receipts came down to $7.18 billion during the July-January period of the FY 2016-17 from $8.64 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal, the Bangladesh Bank (BB) data showed.
On the other hand, the central bank is scheduled to meet with chief executive officers (CEOs) and managing directors (MDs) of the higher remittances recipient banks on February 5 to review the overall situation.
Earlier the central bank relaxed policy for establishment of drawing arrangement between the overseas exchange houses and the banks operating in Bangladesh to facilitate the flow of inward remittances.
Under the relaxations, the amount of security deposit for drawing arrangement came down to US$10,000 from $25,000 while security deposit for Non-Resident Taka (NRT) account got trimmed down to Tk 0.20 million from Tk 0.50 million.
Besides, the BB officials are scheduled to meet with the senior officials Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment on February 9 to discuss the overall situation.
The official expects the existing trend of inward remittances would continue in the coming months.
Mentioning different initiatives, BB Governor Fazle Kabir on Sunday last expressed the hope that the flow of inward remittance will return to the upward trend from the present slowdown within the next two to three months.
Currently, 29 exchange houses are operating across the globe along with 1140 drawing arrangements have been set up abroad to expedite the remittance inflow.
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.
BBN/SSR/AD