The Financial Express

Remittance inflow crosses US$6.0b in July-October

Govt starts providing incentive

| Updated: November 05, 2019 15:30:06

Lankabangla and Fianancial Express Lankabangla and Fianancial Express
Picture used for illustrative purpose only Picture used for illustrative purpose only

The inflow of remittances crossed US$6.0 billion in the first four months of the current fiscal year (FY) as the government started providing incentive to the beneficiaries against inward remittance.

Depreciating mode of the local currency against the US dollar has also pushed up the flow of inward remittances in the recent months, according to bankers.

The flow of inward remittances rose by more than 20 per cent to US$6.15 billion during the July-October period of FY 2019-20 from $5.11 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal.

"We expect that the flow of inward remittance may increase further in the coming months as the government has announced 2.0 per cent incentive for remittance receipts," Md. Serajul Islam, spokesperson of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), told the FE on Monday.

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 legal channels.

Mr. Islam, an executive director of the central bank, said expatriate Bangladeshis are being encouraged to send their hard-earned money through the formal banking channel, instead of the illegal "hundi" system for availing such incentive.

The money sent home by Bangladeshis working abroad amounted to $1.64 billion in October 2019, up by $ 171.20 million from the previous month's level.

In September last, the remittances stood at $ 1.47 billion. It was $1.24 billion in October 2018.

Talking to the FE, another BB official said the finance ministry has already released Tk 15.30 billion as incentive for remittance receipts for first six months of this fiscal and remaining Tk 15.30 billion will be released later.

"Depreciating mode of the local currency against the US currency has also helped increasing the flow of inward remittance in the recent months," a senior executive of a leading private commercial bank (PCB) told the FE.

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.

Meanwhile, the local currency depreciated by 85 poisha against the greenback in the inter-bank forex market from January 02 to October 24.

The greenback was quoted at Tk 84.75 each in the inter-bank market on October 24 against BDT 83.90 on January 02 this calendar year.

He said lower interest rate because of possible meltdown of the global economy has also helped push up the inflow of remittance during the period under review.

All private commercial banks (PCBs) received $ 1.24 billion as remittances in October last while the state-owned commercial banks (SoCBs) received $353.17 million, foreign commercial banks (FCBs) $15.82 million, and specialised banks $30.24 million.

On the other hand, the number of overseas employments registered a falling trend in recent months following slow demand for workers in Middle East countries, according to insiders.

Some 469,275 workers found jobs in the nine months to September 2019 against 555,393 outflow workers in the same period of the last calendar year, according to the official figures.

Some important destinations including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Malaysia, Kuwait and Bahrain remained closed for Bangladeshi workers since long, they explained.

More than 12 million Bangladeshis went abroad since 1976, the official data showed.

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