Country’s inbound remittance flow has rebounded in January after a prolonged sluggish trend over the last two fiscal years.
Bangladeshi expatriates sent home $1.38 billion in January, posting an 18 percent rise from $1.16 billion in December last year.
Inward remittance totalled $8.31 billion in the last seven months of the current 2017-18 fiscal year, according to Bangladesh Bank data.
Economists say the rise in remittance was an outcome of the measures taken by the central bank against illegal remitting channels, including hundi.
Agrani Bank Chairman Dr. Zaid Bakht said the rebound in remittance inflow is a good sign for the country’s economy.
Remittance is a major source of foreign currency for Bangladesh and a downward trend in its flow since 2015-16 had created cause for concern for the government.
Inward remittance dipped to a six-year low last fiscal.
The country’s annual remittance inflow remained above $14 billion since 2012-13 fiscal. The figure crossed the $15 billion mark in 2014-15 fiscal.
Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir expressed hope that remittance inflow will maintain this upward trend to close this fiscal at $14 billion.
“The central bank will maintain its firm stance against illegal remitting channel in name of mobile money. We disconnected the link between hundi and mobile financial services and encouraged the expatriates to use the formal banking channels,” Fazle Kabir said while addressing a meeting recently.
Remittance dropped by 2.5 percent to a little below the $15 billion mark in 2015-16 and to a six-year low of $12.77 billion in 2016-17 fiscal.
Analysts have been blaming illegal money transfer systems like hundi and an unstable economic and political scenario in the Middle East for the slump in inward remittance.
According to BB data, monthly remittance inflow slipped to a five-year low at $850.37 million in September 2017, the month that follows the Eid Ul Azha.