Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Remittances sent by Bangladeshis working abroad crossed US$2.0 billion in the first three months of the current fiscal, marking a 44 per cent growth over the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, officials said in the capital, Dhaka on Tuesday.

The country received $2.34 billion during the July-September period of fiscal 2008-09 against $1.62 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal, according to the central bank statistics, released on the day.

“The inflow of remittances may slightly fall in the month of October. But it will increase in November ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha festival,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, told BBN in Dhaka.

The growth of inward remittances was recorded at 11.17 per cent in September over the previous month, thanks to its higher flow on the occasion of the Eid-ul-Fitr festival, they added.

In August, 2008, the flow of inward remittances fell by 10.69 per cent over the previous month due to labor unrest in two Middle Eastern countries, which forced a large number of Bangladeshi workers to return home.

The remittances from Bangladeshi nationals working abroad were estimated at US$802.58 million in September, marking a rise by $80.66 million over the previous month. In August 2008, the remittance was worth $721.92 million, the BB’s data showed.

Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserves stood at $5.78 billion on Tuesday due to the robust growth of remittances from Bangladeshis working abroad, they confirmed.

The central bank of Bangladesh 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.

BBN/SI/SS/AD-08October08-12:56 AM (BST)