Forecast Proved Wrong
Remittance inflow hits $ 911.22 million in only 10 days
The country received $922.10 million remittance in just 10 days from September 1 to September 10 this year, which is almost double compared to the corresponding period in previous 2019. It appears to be highly unusual amid Covid-19 background.
According to Bangladesh Bank (BB) data, the country received $534 million during the same period last year while during similar first 10 days of August it was $572 million.
Officials at the central bank said remittance steadily increased riding on the 2 percent incentive exchange rates for expatriate money sent through banking or formal channels and from a sense of emergency to help families.
It stands contrary to earlier experts forecast that Bangladesh would sharply lose remittance during the pandemic period.
Bangladesh bank spokesperson and executive director Serajul Islam told The Daily Observer on Tuesday that most expatriates were sending enhanced fund to support families at home. In Europe and USA, their income didn't suffer much while in the Middle East expatriates appears not retaining saving for helping families hard hit by the pandemic.
Earlier most multilateral donor agencies made forecast about drastic fall in remittance. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Bangladesh would be among five worst developing Asian economies to suffer from serious remittance setback.
In the worst-case scenario, the remittance may fall by 27.8 percent from its 2018 level. Their predictions proved wrong. Migrant workers sent home $1.96 billion in August, up 36 percent year-on-year basis.
Remittance got a fillip from non-resident Bangladeshis from the second half of 2020 after the incentives exchange rate for 2 percent came into effect. It quickly pushed inward average monthly remittance from $1.1 billion in the first half of 2019 to $1.4 billion to 1.6 billion in the second half.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has attributed the rise to the incentive exchange rates introduced in fiscal 2019-20. Expatriates played a pivotal role in enhancing the inflow. Before the incentive rate, 49 percent remittance would come through informal channel but the situation changed overnight, he said.
The monthly inward remittance hit an all-time high in July this year to $2.59 billion, but it declined to $1.96 billion in August to rise again in September. It may hit $2.5 billion this month.
In recent months, migrants from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and the USA, among other countries, have been sending a higher amount of money home.
The inflow of remittance increased from US$764 million in 1991 to $14.9 billion in 2015-2016 and $18.21 billion in 2019-20.