Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladeshi working abroad sent home a record US$2.70 billion as remittances in the first quarter (Q1) of the current fiscal, registering a 15.90 per cent growth over the same period last fiscal.

The remittances from Bangladeshi nationals working abroad were estimated at $887.92 million in September, a fall by $47.23 million from the previous month. In August 2009, the remittance was $935.15 million, according to the central bank statistics, released on Monday.

“The flow of inward remittances has declined slightly in the month of September following a series of holidays on the occasion of the Eid-ul-Fitr and Durga Puja festivals,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka.

He also said the flow of remittances may stable this month. But it will increase in November ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha festival, he added.

Bangladesh received $2.708 billion during the July-September period of fiscal 2009-10 against $2.336 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal, the BB’s data showed.

The BB officials said the latest figure also shows that despite the slowdown of overseas jobs, inflow of money has maintained a robust trend — a continuation of last fiscal year when remittance grew 22.41 per cent.

A total of 30,812 Bangladeshis workers found overseas jobs in September, which was is 41.86 per cent down from that of the corresponding period of the last year, according to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) statistics.

The country’s foreign exchange reserves stood at $9.337 billion Monday due to the robust growth of remittances from Bangladeshis working abroad, the BB officials confirmed.

The central bank earlier took a series of measures to encourage the expatriate Bangladeshis to send their hard earned money through formal banking channel instead of the illegal “hundi” system and boost the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

Four state-run commercial banks and dozens of private commercial banks have also stepped up efforts to increase remittance flow from the Middle East, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Singapore, Italy and the United States.

“We are establishing new contacts with overseas exchange houses so that our overseas workers can find it easy to send money back home,” Managing Director of the National Credit and Commerce (NCC) Bank Limited Nurul Amin said.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-06October09-10:07 am (BST)