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Remittance inflow rises by 12pc in first four months of FY'19

'It normally increases ahead of the general elections'


FE Report | Published: November 07, 2018 10:01:40 | Updated: November 08, 2018 12:17:26


Reuters file photo used for representation

The inflow of wage earners remittances crossed US$5.0 billion in the first four months of the current fiscal year (FY) due to depreciating mode of the local currency against the US dollar in the recent months.

The inward remittances rose by 12.17 per cent to $5.11 billion during the July-October period of FY 2018-19 from $ 4.55 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal.

"The growth of inward remittance is at satisfactory level," a senior official of Bangladesh Bank (BB) told the FE on Tuesday.

He expected that the existing upward trend of remittances would continue in the coming months.

"The inflow of remittances normally increases ahead of the general elections," the central banker explained.

The money sent home by Bangladeshis working abroad amounted to $ 1.24 billion in October 2018, up by $ 99.45 million from the previous month's level, according to the central bank's latest statistics.

In September last, the remittances stood at $ 1.14 billion. It was $ 1.16 billion in October 2017.

Currently, 29 exchange houses are operating across the globe, setting up 1,215 drawing arrangements abroad, to expedite the remittance inflow, according to another BB official.

He said the upward trend of fuel oil prices in the global market has contributed to the increased inflow of remittance particularly from the Middle Eastern countries.

Talking to the FE, Muhammed Shahidul Islam, Managing Director of Shahjalal Islami Bank Limited, said that most of the banks are now offering higher rates for getting remittances to meet their internal demands.

"The depreciating mode of the local currency against the US currency as well as strengthened BB's surveillance to check illegal hundi have helped increasing the flow of inward remittance in the recent months," he explained.

The exchange rate of Bangladesh Taka (BDT) depreciated significantly against the US dollar in the recent months mainly due to higher demand for the greenback for settling the import bills.

The local currency depreciated by Tk 0.10 to Tk 83.85 on Tuesday in the inter-bank foreign exchange market from Tk 83.75 in July last. It was Tk 80.60 on July 02, 2017, according to the market operators.

The demand for the US dollar is increasing gradually, mainly due to higher import payments, particularly those of petroleum products and capital machinery.

The central bank of Bangladesh 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 reserve.

All the private commercial banks (PCBs) received a total of $ 913.30 million as remittances in October last while the state-owned commercial banks (SoCBs) received $ 299.36 million, foreign commercial banks (FCBs) $ 11.88 million and specialised banks $ 14.57 million.

Currently, most banks including public ones are trying to increase the flow of inward remittance from different parts of the world including the Middle East, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Italy and the United States.

"We're trying to increase the flow of inward remittance through official channels continuously to meet our internal demand for foreign exchange," a senior executive of a leading PCB told the FE.

He said that offering higher rates by some banks has also helped encourage the expatriate workers to send more money.

siddique.islam@gmail.com

 

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