Bangladesh’s inward remittances rise slightly, ending three-month fall

Bangladeshi migrant workers sent $1.59 billion in November, a 2.65 percent year-on-year rise

Published : 1 Dec 2022, 07:52 PM
Updated : 1 Dec 2022, 07:52 PM

Bangladeshi migrant workers sent home $1.59 billion in November, a 2.65 percent year-on-year rise that ended a fall for three months in a row.

This has taken the remittances received by the country in the first five months of the fiscal year to $8.79 billion, up by 2.1 percent from the same period last year, according to latest data published by the central bank on Thursday.

Steps taken by the central bank and the government helped the remittance inflow to some extent as in July, the country received $2.09 billion from expatriates, which was the highest in 14 months. In August, Bangladeshi expatriates sent out $2.03 billion, up 12.58 percent year on year.

But in September, remittances decreased by 10.84 percent year-on-year to about $1.54 billion as fears of a global recession and volatility in the foreign currency market due to the Russia-Ukraine war continued to affect the country’s economy.

Remittances sent home by Bangladeshis abroad then fell 7.3 percent year-on-year to about $1.53 billion in October, the lowest in eight months.

Bangladesh saw inward remittance slump by 15.12 percent to $21.03 billion year on year in 2021-22 after growing by more than 36 percent to $24.78 billion in 2020-21.

In recent months, the central bank further eased paperwork requirements for remittances, while the government continued cash incentives on the money sent by expatriates to encourage them to use the legal channels.

Hundi, an illegal channel of making cross-border transactions, however, continued to affect the inward remittances.

In this illegal system, expatriate Bangladeshis pay Hundi agents in foreign currencies abroad and local agents pay the expatriates’ relatives in taka in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder on Thursday said exporters and importers are also using the unauthorised channel to launder money.

He said the central bank bolstered its efforts to stop Hundi as the foreign currency reserves of the country kept dwindling.

The central bank last month urged expatriates to send money through the banks, reminding them of legal consequences for using illegal means to conduct cross-border transactions.

It said Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit was taking legal action against everyone involved with illegal channels of remitting funds.