Remittance falls by 25pc in October  

The inward flow of remittances fell by nearly 25 per cent in October over the previous month’s mark, in a bit ebb tide after a steady surge.

Official figures show the downturn came after a steady growth in the overall remittance inflow that took the total over US$5.0 billion in the first four months of this fiscal.

“The inflow of remittance is still at a satisfactory level despite downturn in the month of October,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told the FE.

The reserves now stand at $19.04bn, enough to pay off six months’ imports and second highest among SAARC countries

The Bangladeshi nationals working abroad sent US$1.01 billion in October 2014.

The amount was lower by $333.55 million than the level of remittance receipts in the previous month. In September, the remittances amounted to $1.34 billion.

“The inflow of remittances decreased in the month of October because of the celebration of Eid-ul-Azha festival,” the central banker said to explain the fall.

He hopes an upturn in the flow of foreign currencies from the wage earners in the current month.

The flow of inward remittances grew by 11.54 per cent to $5.02 billion during the July-October period of the fiscal year 2014-15 against $ 4.50 billion in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year, the BB data showed.

“We’re working continuously to increase the inflow of remittance from across the world,” another BB official said, without elaborating.

Currently, 29 exchange houses are operating across the globe and have set up 981 drawing arrangements abroad to expedite the remittance inflow.

The BB earlier took a series of measures to encourage the expatriates to send their hard-earned money through the formal banking channels, instead of the illegal “hundi” system, to help boost the country’s foreign-exchange reserve.

Meanwhile, the forex reserve stood at $22.30 billion Monday.

The BB official attributed the substantial figure to higher growth of inward remittances from Bangladeshis working abroad in recent times.

Most private commercial banks along with the state-owned ones are trying desperately to increase the flow of inward remittances from the Middle East, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Singapore, Italy and the United States.

“We’re trying to increase the inflow of remittances from different parts of the world by establishing new contacts with overseas companies,” a senior official at a leading private commercial bank said.

He also said most of the banks were still serious about increasing the inflow of remittances through official channels to meet their internal foreign-exchange demand.