Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The flow of inward remittances fell by 5.0 percent in July over the previous month following a substantial gap in exchange rates of US dollars offered by money changers and banks.
Bangladeshi nationals working abroad sent US$847.63 million in July this year, a fall of $44.52 million from June 2010, when it was $892.15 million, according to the central bank statistics released on Tuesday.
The buying rate of US dollar in the informal market has been higher by over BDT 4.0 for more than a month than what is offered by state-owned banks.
Bankers have voiced concern over the impact that the large gap will have in the future remittances. They have also urged the authorities to take necessary actions immediately to check the hike of US dollar offered by money exchange houses.
“We expect that the flow of remittances would increase this month mainly due to Holy Ramadan as well as upcoming Eid festival,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, told BBN in Dhaka.
He also said the central bank has taken special measures to allow setting up of more exchange houses particularly in the United States to increase the flow of remittances from the world’s biggest economy.
Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $10.87 billion on Tuesday, thanks to the robust growth of remittances from Bangladeshis working abroad, the BB officials added.
Currently, some private commercial banks along with state-owned commercial banks are desperately trying to increase the flow of inward remittances from the Middle East, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Singapore, Italy and the United States.
“We’re still serious about increasing the inflow of remittances through official channels to meet our internal foreign exchange demand,” a senior official of a commercial bank said, adding that some banks are trying to set up their own exchange houses or drawing arrangements with overseas companies in the different parts of the world.
BBN/SSR/SI/AD-03Aug10-11:03 pm (BST)