BB reserves cross $33bn amid corona

Remittance hits $1.09bn in first 19 days of May

Anisul Islam Noor

23 May, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Though the country’s export-import activities have plummeted due to the coronavirus crisis, remittance sent by expatriates is raising hope.

In the first 19 days of May, the expatriates sent US$1091 million to the country, which is more than the amount throughout the entire April last.

In April, the expatriates sent $1081 million remittance.   The Bangladesh Bank's foreign exchange reserves have crossed $33 billion within a two-week interval following the leap of the remittance.

As the coronavirus epidemic has put the whole world in crisis, naturally it has also affected remittance in Bangladesh.

It was feared that remittance, one of the main indicators of the country’s economy would be affected like export-import earnings, but that did not happen usually.

Economists expressed concern over the declining remittance since last March. But the month of Eid is a bit of relief as remittance inflows are higher than any other Eid month in the past, central bank officials said.

Kazi Saidur Rahman, Executive Director of Bangladesh Bank, told daily sun yesterday, “Crisis is going on in almost all countries of the world due to the coronavirus pandemic. We thought the amount of remittance would go down to the bottom.”

"But it did not happen. Like every time, the expatriates are sending more remittance for their families on the occasion of Eid,” he said.

Economic analyst Ahsan H Mansoor said, “Honestly, we thought remittance like import and export earnings would come down. But that did not happen. It is a good sign for economy. ”

Remittance from millions of Bangladeshis in different countries plays an important role in the economy of Bangladesh. The contribution of the expatriates’ money to the GDP is about 12 percent.

Every year before Eid, remittance gain momentum. A record remittance of $1748.2 million came in May 2019 before Eid ul-Fitr.

This time due to the coronavirus epidemic many migrant workers had to return to the country and those who are still there in overseas were not expected to remit as much because of the uncertain future.

Despite the decreasing export earning, Bangladesh Bank's foreign exchange reserves have again surpassed 33 billion depending on the increased remittance inflows before Eid.

At the end of the day on Wednesday, Bangladesh bank reserves amounted to 33.2 billion dollars.

However, the reserves increased with the addition of $250 million budget assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), said Saidur Rahman.