Remittance flow up 15pc in 2018

Siddique Islam | Published: January 03, 2019 09:46:23 | Updated: January 13, 2019 16:54:43

Inward remittance jumped by nearly 15 per cent or around $2.0 billion in calendar year 2018 following the depreciating mode of taka against dollar, officials said.

Remittance inflows rose to $15.53 billion in 2018 from $13.54 billion a year ago despite a falling trend in outbound jobs of Bangladeshis.

"The uptrend in fuel oil prices globally also contributed to raise the inflow of remittance, particularly from the Middle-Eastern countries," said a senior official of the central bank.

The Bangladesh Bank (BB) as well as the government is working continuously to expedite remittance inflows from different parts of the world, he told the FE.

The money sent home by Bangladeshis working abroad amounted to $1.20 billion in December 2018, up by $24.57 million from the November level, according to the BB's latest statistics.

Remittance stood at $1.18 billion last November. It was $1.17 billion in December 2017.

Currently, 29 exchange houses are operating globally with 1,223 drawing arrangements set up abroad to boost remittance inflow, according to the central banker.

The BB earlier took multiple measures to encourage expatriate workers to send home their hard-earned money through formal banking channel to help boost the country's foreign exchange reserve.

Al-Arafah Islami Bank managing director Farman R Chowdhury said the depreciating mode of taka against US dollar and BB's surveillance to check 'hundi' helped raise remittance inflows in 2018.

The country's stable outlook would continue with this upward trend in inward remittances in 2019, the senior banker made his prediction to the FE.

The exchange rate of taka depreciated significantly against dollar last year mainly due to a higher demand for the greenback for settling import bills.

The local currency depreciated by Tk 1.20 to Tk 83.90 on Wednesday in the inter-bank foreign exchange market from Tk 82.70 a year before.

"Reasons like exchange house rate, workers' job status, and economic conditions of employing countries were behind a rise in remittance," said Tasneem Siddiqui, founding chair of Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU).

She said this while releasing a report recently.

The RMMRU in its latest report projected that outbound jobs are set to decline by about 27 per cent in 2018 compared to that of the previous year.

A total of 684,962 Bangladeshi workers went different countries, including those in Middle-East and Southeast Asian regions, with jobs during the January-November period of 2018.

Bangladesh sent 1,008,525 workers abroad in 2017.



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