Bangladesh’s remittance earnings are witnessing an upward trend in March ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr – one of the biggest festivals of the Muslim community.
The country’s migrants sent $1.59 billion home during March 1 to March 24, up from $1.56 billion in the entire month of February, show latest data from the Bangladesh Bank.
Industry insiders said remittance earnings have been going up since the beginning of March mainly due to the Eid-ul-Fitr. Every year, migrants send more money to their relatives ahead of the biggest festivals.
Echoing the same, a senior official of the central bank said Bangladesh’s remittance inflow usually increases during the two Eids.
During the 24 days of March, the country received the highest amount of remittance at $370 million through Islami bank Bangladesh, while $97.86 million came through Pubali Bank, $99.37 million through City Bank, $79.28 million from Agrani Bank, and $73.68 million from Al-Arafah Islami Bank.
Central bank data show the highest $1.36 billion came from private commercial banks, and $195.67 million came from state-run banks.
After August of FY23, remittance earnings did not reach the $2 billion mark. The figure was at $2.03 billion back in August, but came below the $1 billion mark until February of this FY.
Industry insiders are optimistic that the remittance inflow will reach the $2 billion mark again at the end of March 2023. Remittance inflow has increased by 4.46 per cent year-on-year to $1.56 billion in February.
The inflow will grow further in the coming days as banks and the banking regulator have recently taken various measures to encourage expatriate Bangladeshis to send their money through the banking channel.
Experts, however, point out the remittance inflow is not increasing in proportion to the amount of manpower exported after the easing of Covid-19 pandemic. Money laundering and high immigration costs are the key reasons behind this issue, they added.
Bangladesh exported a large amount of manpower since 2021, but no positive impact is seen in the remittance inflow, said Towfiqul Islam Khan, Senior Research Fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue.
He added that the trend of money laundering in Bangladesh is very high, so remittance inflow is not reaching the expected level.
Bangladesh’s manpower exports reached 6.17 lakh in 2021, according to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET). The country exported 11.35 lakh people in 2022, which is a record high for the country. The figure was 1.04 lakh in January this year.