Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The flow of inward remittances fell by 0.53 per cent or US$72.46 million in the just concluded calendar year –2017 despite a significant rise in the out-bound jobs of Bangladeshi nationals.

The inflow of remittances came down to $13.54 billion in 2017 from $13.61 billion a year ago, according to the central bank statistics, released on Monday.

The flow of inward remittances is still in negative territory despite rising trend of the same in the second-half (H2) of the last calendar year, according to officials.

Bangladeshi overseas workers remitted $6.93 billion during the July-December period of 2017 against $6.17 billion in the same period of the previous calendar year.

They also said the flow of inward remittances increased in the H2 of 2017 following higher exchange rate of the US currency against the Bangladesh Taka (BDT) along with strengthening monitoring by the Bangladesh Bank (BB) to curb its illegal fund transfers.

The exchange rate of local currency rose to BDT 82. 22 on Monday against the US dollar for purchasing of the greenback from remitters, official known as TT (Telegraphic Transfer) clean, from BDT 78.00 a year before.

“Such depreciation of the Bangladesh Taka (BDT) against the US dollar has contributed to push up the inflow of inward remittances in the recent months,” a senior treasury official of a leading private commercial bank told the BBN in Dhaka.

The private banker expects the upward trend of inward remittances will continue in 2018 if the existing trend of exchange rate persists.

Currently, the central bank of Bangladesh and the government is now working to expedite the flow of inward remittances from different parts of the world.

As part of the moves, the central bank had asked the banks for taking different measures to attract NRBs (Non-Resident Bangladeshis) through improvement in the quality of remittance services.

The banks have also been instructed to open ‘help desk’ at each branch concerned for ensuring better remittance services.

The banks will have to ensure providing information on remittance to the beneficiaries on priority, according to a notification, issued by the Bangladesh Bank (BB) earlier.

The remittances from Bangladeshi nationals working abroad were estimated at $1.17 billion in December last, down by $47.57 million than that of the previous month. In November 2017, the remittance was $1.21 billion, the BB data showed.

Currently, 29 exchange houses are operating across the globe along with 1190 drawing arrangements have been set up abroad to expedite the remittance inflow, according to the central banker.

A total of 10,08,525 workers went overseas with employment in 2017, of them 122,000 were women, according to the state-run Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training latest statistics.

The growth of employment increased about 33 per cent in 2017 compared to that of previous year. Some 757,731 workers secured jobs abroad in 2016.

BBN/SSR/AD