Remittance inflow falls more than 14pc in May

FE REPORT | June 02, 2020 


The flow of inward remittance fell by more than 14 per cent in May following the coronavirus outbreak in different parts of the world, officials said.

Remittance from Bangladeshis working abroad was estimated at $1.50 billion in May 2020, registering a $245-million decrease from the same month a year ago.

It was $1.75 billion in May 2019.

On the other hand, inward remittance increased by over 38 per cent to $1.50 billion in May from $1.09 billion a month ago following Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations, according to the officials.

Non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) normally remit an increased amount to help their families back home to celebrate the Muslims’ largest religious festival.

“Our latest policy support has also contributed to increased flow of inward remittance during the period under review,” a senior official of the central bank told the FE on Monday.

The Bangladesh Bank (BB) has already relaxed the conditions for incentives on the money sent by expatriates to lift up the sinking flow of remittances amid this pandemic.

As per the relaxations, migrants can get a 2.0-per cent incentive without showing any paper for the facility on remittance up to $5,000 or Tk 500,000.

Earlier, the ceiling was Tk 150,000.

Besides, those sending more than Tk 500,000 will have two months to submit papers instead of 15 days.

The expatriates who have already sent money will also get the facility. It will be effective until December 31, 2020.

Echoing the BB official, a senior banker said such policy relaxation boosted remittance inflow in May.

“But this inflow may fall in June due to the post-festival effect,” he explained.

The banker expects that inward remittance may increase significantly in July ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.

Remittance grew by nearly 9.0 per cent to $16.36 billion from July to May of fiscal year (FY) 2019-20, from $15.05 billion in the same period of last fiscal.

The government has been incentivising remitters since July 01, 2019. It has already allocated Tk 30.6 billion for incentives in the budget for FY ’20.

The BB earlier took measures to encourage NRBs to send their hard-earned money through the formal banking channel instead of illegal ‘hundi’ system to boost the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

siddique.islam@gmail.com

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