Monthly remittance inflow hits record $1.75 billion in May as non-resident Bangladeshis sent home their hard-earned foreign currencies in huge volume to their near and dear ones ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, one of the biggest religious festivals of the Muslims, which is likely to be celebrated in the country tomorrow.
The remittance inflow in May grew by 16.66 percent or $0.25 billion from $1.5 billion in May last year and easily outpaced the previous record of $1.59 billion made in January this year.
The country received highest yearly remittance in the fiscal year of 2014-2015 with $15.32 billion. In July-May of the current fiscal year, remittance inflow increased by 10.75 percent or $1.46 billion to $15.06 billion from $13.6 billion in the same period of last fiscal year. Total remittance earnings is expected to exceed $16 billion at the end of FY19.
Remittance sending by expatriates usually increases ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha, the two major religious festivals of the Muslims. In addition to that, appreciation of the dollar in the country’s local market against the taka was another stimulus to sending more remittance through the legal channel.
The interbank exchange rate of a US dollar increased to Tk 84.5 on May 30 from Tk 83.9 at the beginning of January this year. In last 29 months, the taka was devalued by 7.37 per cent or Tk 5.8 and the interbank rate of a dollar was Tk 78.7 in January, 2017.
One of the reasons for the spike in remittance is that many banks are offering competitive rate to attract remitters with a view to strengthening their foreign exchange reserve. Improving economic situation of Middle Eastern countries in recent months due to rising prices of fuel oils also helped to get the boost as from this region Bangladesh receives the majority of its remittance.
Also, the central bank’s move to curb illegal hundi also encouraged people to send money through the formal banking channel that boosted the remittance. Both the central bank and commercial banks ran awareness programmes abroad.
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