Inflow of remittances that witnessed a sluggish trend in recent months is picking up again as expatriates sent home US$807.77 million in the first 19 days of May, which is $115.76 million up from the same period of the previous month, according to Bangladesh Bank (BB) data.
The country received $692 million till April 19, the BB statistics show.
“The recent flow of remittances indicates that it is gradually increasing and this trend is likely to continue in the upcoming months,” BB chief spokesperson Subhankar Shah told BSS here.
According to BB, the country received $1009.47 million as remittance in January and $940.75 million in February 2017, but it witnessed a rising trend from March as migrant workers sent home $1077.52 million in March and $1092.64 in April respectively.
BB attributed such upward trend of inflow of remittance to the measures taken by the government, BB and mobile banking operators.
“It is a good sign that inflow of remittances is coming back to positive trend,” said Shah, also the executive director of the central bank.
“Some Non Residence Bangladeshis (NRBs) are using informal channel, including mobile banking, for sending their money home,” he said.
Besides, the falling currency rate against dollar and low oil prices have hit the incomes of the Middle Eastern countries where most of the Bangladeshi migrants work, he added.
Shah said BB has already sent letters to the Bangladesh missions aboard for taking steps to close illegal bKash or Rocket agents to stop sending money home by migrant workers through informal channels.
He also said mobile banking operators are also appointing lawyers to stop the illegal agents aboard.
Two investigation teams of BB visited Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Malaysia in March to find out the reasons behind the downward trend in country’s remittance inflow.
During the visit of the teams, they found that NRBs are using informal channels for sending their money home due to various reasons, including easy procedures and no procedural cost.
“I think, mobile banking alone is 50 percent responsible for the drop in the inflow of remittance,” the official added.
Mentioning the anti-money laundering activities in different countries as another reason to choose the informal channels by remitters, shah said illegal workers cannot send their money home through the formal channels.
Shah said the government has set a plan to ease the sending procedures of remittances for making the sector more vibrant for the country’s economy.