Remittance down turn rings alarm bell

16 September 2021


Reza Mahmud :
Remittance inflows are found on down turn with the beginning of the current fiscal years after a good record in the last two years, sources said.
Data of Bangladesh Bank shows that the expatriates have remitted USD 368.16 crore in the months of July and August of the fiscal year 2021-2022, compared with $ 456.21 crore during the corresponding period of the previous year.
The remittance inflow decreased by about 19.30 percent due to COVID attack. According to the data of the central bank, Bangladeshi expatriates have remitted $ 187 crore, 14 lakh and 90 thousand in July of this year which was less by $ 6.93 crore.
Besides, the amount was 27.97 percent less than the remittance of the same period of the previous year (July-2020).
The migrant workers had remitted $ 259 crore and 82 lakh  in the country in July last year.
Meanwhile, $181 crore has been remitted to the country in August of  this year against $ 196 in during the corresponding perioid of last year.
As per the account it was $ 15 crore less than the previous year'performance, the data showed.
While analysts are expressing different opinions about the down turn of the remittances inflows, the central bank is saying that it is observing the matter closely.
Dr. Zaid Bakht, Research Director of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) said, "The flights were suspended in most of the times of the last two years. As a result, the money sending to home through illegal channel- hundi was also stopped. But now, the flights have been resumed, the hundi has also been  active. It is the main reason behind down turn of the remittance inflow."
He  said, the covid-19 situation is yet to be normal in different countries, which is also a big reason for fall of remittance inflow.
The other experts also expressed similarly about the decreasing trend of the remittances which is the major source of the country's foreign currency reserves.
Meanwhile, officials of Bangladesh Bank said they are monitoring the matter urgently and will find out the necessary measures needed in this regards.
When contacted, Md. Serajul Islam, Executive Director and the Spokesperson of Bangladesh Bank told The New Nation on Wednesday, "We are observing the reasons behind the down turn of the remittance inflow in the country in the last two months."
The BB Spokesperson said that he was yet to think that the hundi was the major reason behind the remittance inflow fall in July and August.
"It cannot be said finally that the hundi is playing vital role behind the decreasing trend of the remittances in the country. We are discovering the reasons through proper monitoring," Serajul Islam said.
He said, some expatriates also used to send cash instead of using banking channel while their fellow workers or friends visit home country.
The spokesperson said, hundi is illegal and punitive actions must to be taken if anyone is found involving.
He expressed his optimism that the migrant workers will use the proper channel through banks to remit money.

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