Year-on-year remittance for nine months drops 17 percent despite a brief reversal in March
Chief Economics Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2017-04-04 02:37:45.0 BdST Updated: 2017-04-04 02:37:45.0 BdST
The flow of remittance into Bangladesh has dropped 17 percent in the first nine months (July-March) of the current fiscal year than the same period last fiscal.
The flow, however, registered a rise in March than February this year.
Concerned over the drop in remittance, Finance Minister AMA Muhith considers the downtrend as one of the major challenges' for Bangladesh's economy.
According to updated Bangladesh Bank data published on Monday, the expatriates remitted over $1.07 billion in March, up from $940 million of February, which was lowest in a month in five years.
The remittance received in March this year, however, is 16.19 percent less than the $1.285 billion received in the same month last year.
In July-March period, Bangladesh received $9.19 billion. In the same period in 2015-16 fiscal year, the amount was $11.05 billion.
Speaking to bdnews24.com, Finance Minister Muhith blamed the weakening economies of Middle Eastern countries.
He said the salaries of the Bangladeshi workers in those countries dropped due to no rise in global oil prices. "Many have even lost their jobs," he said.
Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) Research Director Zaid Bakht said the devaluation of US dollar against the British pound, euro, Malaysian ringgit, and Singaporean dollar is the reason why Bangladesh was getting less remittance.
The flow of remittance was more than $1 billion a month for past few years but started to drop in November last year. It crossed the $1 billion monthly mark in January again.
Bangladesh saw the downward trend in remittance for the first time in 2013. The expatriates sent $13.83 billion that year, a 2.39 percent drop from 2012.
The flow of remittance grew by 7.88 percent in 2014. The amount was $14.92 billion that year. The remittance flow grew again in 2015; by 2.68 percent.
It dropped again in 2016 when the expatriates sent home $13.61 million, which is 11.16 percent less than $15.32 billion of 2015.
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