Bangladeshi expatriates have sent home a record $1.15 billion remittance in the first 15 days of April.
Economic analysts said inward remittance might touch a new height in April ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr as remittance inflows usually surge ahead of the Eid festivity.Bangladesh Bank (BB) data show that remittance inflow stood at $1.09 billion during the same month last year. Of the total $1.15 billion received in April this year, six state-owned banks have handled $ 278.24 million, two specialized banks $23.49 million, 39 private commercial banks $847.3 million and nine foreign banks handled $4.25 million.
Bangladesh’s remittance inflow grew 35.1 per cent in the nine months (July- March) of the current fiscal year compared to the same period last fiscal, according to BB data.
BB official said remittance growth also continued in March as the expatriates are sending remittance through proper banking channels after the government has introduced a two per cent incentive on remittance transfers.
According to BB data, in the first nine months of the current financial year, expatriates have sent around $18.6 billion, which was $13.77 billion in the same period of FY20.
The expatriates have sent $1.91 billion in March of FY21 which amount was $1.27 billion in FY20.
Expatriates sent $1.96 billion in remittance in January, 1.78 billion in February this year.Bangladesh Bank executive director and spokesperson Serajul Islam said, “Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, expatriates are sending more money to the country than before, it is a great blessing for our economy.”
He said this inward remittance might reach a new height in April as the expatriates usually send more money ahead of Eid.
More than 10 millions Bangladesh expatriates are working in different countries and sending hard-earned remittance to their families in the country. The contribution of remittance to the country’s GDP is about 12 per cent.
The government has announced an incentive at the rate of 2.0 per cent to encourage expatriate to send their income through legal channels.
In the current fiscal, the government has allocated Tk 30.6 billion as cash incentive against remittance. In addition to this, some banks are offering 1.0 per cent extra incentive against remittance.
Ahsan H. Mansur, Executive Director of the Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh (PRI), said the expatriates are encouraged to send more remittances through the legal channel as they are getting hassle-free incentive.
Besides, expatriates from the EU and US are sending remittance to Bangladesh in the hope of profit many are buying flats in different cities of the country including Dhaka.
However, he said the government’s initiative of providing a two per cent cash incentive is seen as the key cause to increase remittance inflow through formal channel.