Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The inflow of remittances grew by 16.60 per cent in the first quarter (Q1) of this fiscal year (FY) as the government has announced 2.0 per cent incentive for remittance receipts, officials said.

The flow of inward remittances rose to US$4.51 billion during the July-September period of FY 2019-20 from $3.87 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal, according to the central bank’s latest statistics.

The money sent home by Bangladeshis working abroad amounted to $1.47 billion in September 2019, up by $ 23.67 million from the previous month’s level.

In August last, the remittances stood at $ 1.44 billion. It was $1.14 billion in September 2018.

“We expect that the upward trend of inward remittance will continue in the coming months as the government has announced 2.0 per cent incentive for remittance receipts,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told the BBN in Dhaka.

He also said higher fuel oil prices in the international market along with lower interest rate because of possible meltdown on the global economy has helped push up the inflow of remittance during the period under review.

The government had already allocated BDT 30.60 billion as incentive in the budget for the FY ’20 to encourage the expatriate workers to send their money through legal channels.

Echoing the BB’s official, Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB) Managing Director Md Ali Hossain Prodhania said the government’s announcement of 2.0 per cent cash incentive for remittance receipts has helped receiving higher growth of inward remittances.

He also said most of the banks are now offering better exchange rate to encourage remitters to send their money using banking channel.

“Two Eid festivals have also contributed to achieve the higher growth of inward remittances during the period under the review,” the senior banker explained.

Currently, 29 exchange houses are operating across the globe, setting up more than 1200 drawing arrangements 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.

More than 12 million Bangladeshis went abroad since 1976, according to the official figures.