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Remittances top $3.0b in August

FE Report | Published: September 03, 2019 10:51:47 | Updated: September 05, 2019 10:28:10


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Money sent home by expatriate Bangladeshis amounted to over US$3.0 billion in the two months to August, boosted by increased flow on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha.

The flow of remittances rose by nearly 13 per cent to $3.08 billion during the July-August period of financial year 2020 from $2.73 billion in the same period a year earlier, according to the central bank's latest statistics, released on Monday.

Month-wise, the inflow went down by $ 114.85 million to $1.48 billion in August, down from the previous month's level.

In July last, the remittances stood at nearly $ 1.60 billion, up from $1.41 billion in August 2018.

"The Eid festival along with lower interest rate sparked by the fear of possible global meltdown has helped increase the inflow of remittances," a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told the FE.

The central banker also expected the upward trend in inward remittance to continue in the coming months as the government has announced a 2.0 per cent incentive on the overseas workers' money.

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

Currently, 29 exchange houses are operating across the globe with more than 1,200 drawing arrangements abroad to expedite the remittance inflow, according to another BB official.

Talking to the FE, Muhammed Shahidul Islam, managing director of Shahjalal Islami Bank Limited, said the celebration of the Eid, announcement of the incentive by the government and strengthening BB's surveillance to check illegal hundi have helped push up the flow of inward remittance in recent months.

The central bank had 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 reserves.

Private banks received $1.09 billion in remittances in August accounting for almost one-third of the flow.

In contrast, state lenders received $359.53 million, foreign banks $11.86 million and their specialised counterparts handled $23.89 million.

siddique.islam@gmail.com

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