Bangladesh recorded just $1.6 billion in inward remittances for the month of August, a six-month low that narrowly surpassed February's $1.56 billion. The country received $2.19 billion in remittances in June, followed by $1.97 billion in July, raising hopes of an uptick stabilising around $2 billion. But the August data arrived to shatter such misconceptions. Also read: Bangladesh received $1.97 billion remittance in July Year-on-year, inward remittance flow declined by 21.57 percent in August, from the high of $2.03 billion in 2022-23, and $1.81 billion in 2021-22. The sector insiders and observers could only point to increased hundi i.e. sending or receiving money via careers or other irregular channels, as a cause for the decline. Normally hundi increases when the dollar price gap widens in the kerb (open) market than in banking channels. Also read: $21.61 billion remittances in FY23, second highest ever “When demand for hundi increases, remittances decrease. The dollar was fetching Tk 5-6 more in the kerb market than in banks last month. So, expatriates reduced sending remittances through legal channels to avail the higher offer in the kerb market,” they pointed out. For almost a year now, banks have been fixing the price of the dollar in terms of payment of export and expatriate income and import liabilities for the dollar crisis and market stability. Now the banks are offering Tk109.5 per dollar for expatriate income. Export bill encashment offers a price of Tk109.5 per dollar and a maximum of taka Tk110 for import and interbank transactions. Also read: US Dollar rate Tk108.5 for remittance, Tk107 for exports from Thursday
Bangladesh received inward remittances of $1.97 billion in July, the first month of Fiscal year 2023-24, which saw a decline on year-on-year basis by 5.86 percent. According to Bangladesh Bank (BB) data, the expatriates sent $2.19 billion remittance in June last month of FY23, saw a fall by 10.27 percent in July. Despite the fall in remittance inflow in July, the central bank officials described it as better than other months. $21.61 billion remittances in FY23, second highest ever Md Sarwar Hossain, a spokesman of the BB, told UNB that the expatriates sent a higher volume of remittances in June thanks to Eid-ul-Azha. Bangladeshi expatriates sent $21.61 billion in remittance in the last fiscal year FY23 (June-July). In the previous FY it was $21.03 billion. Remittances pick up pace ahead of Eid-ul-Azha
Bangladesh's Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has said that the national budget for the fiscal year (FY) 2023-24 was not based on the conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). "Like in different countries, the IMF has come to Bangladesh and made some recommendations to help the economy. We took their prescriptions as per our needs, but did not follow them all in preparing the budget," he said while addressing a post-budget press conference at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the city on Friday (June 2, 2023). He said the IMF is not helping the countries only by providing money, they also monitor the economy. This is good for the economy. Responding to a repeated number of questions on inflation and commodity price hike, the finance minister said the government is concerned about the rising trend in inflation. Read more: Unrealistic budget won’t help overcome economic crisis: Fakhrul "We're apprehensive about inflation, but it is not beyond our control. We cannot stop feeding the people," he said. He said the government is approaching in a flexible way to contain inflation. Through social safety-net programmes, the government has been providing food to poor people. "We're trying to identify the reasons for inflation and address those. If we need to give any concession, we will do that," he said. Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque, LGRD Minister Tajul Islam, Education Minister Dipu Moni, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, Finance Secretary Fatima Yasmin, Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder, and National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Abu Hena Rahmatul Munim were among others also addressed on the occasion. Read more: CPD dismisses budget's projections on growth, inflation, revenue collection The Finance Minister claimed that the new budget was mainly focused on benefiting the poor people. "We have expanded our tax net so that more taxes could be collected. Everybody has to pay tax," he said, adding that like other budgets in the past this was also prepared targeting both the next election and the people. "We cannot separate the people or the election from our goal of the budget," he said. Responding to another question, he said that all the projections made in the previous budgets were implemented. Kamal said Bangladesh has been well placed in remittance earnings among the countries in the region. Read more: Budget 2023-24: Govt allocates Tk88,162 crore in education sector, up 8.2% After a downward trend, remittance earning is again increasing and we can meet five months of our import bill through our reserve. He said after some measures taken by the government, the inflow of remittance will gradually go up. At the press conference, with the request of the Finance Minister, Bangladesh Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder responded to a good number of questions, specially, on inflation, remittance and banking sector. He said that Bangladesh Bank will announce its monetary policy on June 19 where it will lay out the plan on containing inflation, and increasing remittance and reserve. He claimed that though the government's loan from the banking system is increasing, it will not push up inflation as the central bank is withdrawing more money from the market through selling dollars. Read more: Budget sets 7.5 percent annual economic growth, inflation at 6 percent
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday (May 31, 2023) said that the government is making every effort to keep Bangladesh's economy alive despite the global economic recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine-Russia war. The prime minister said this while responding to a tabled question of Awami League MP elected from Chattogram MA Latif for PM’s question-answer session. She said the government has been able to quickly bring the country's economy to the pre-Covid high growth trend dealing with the recession, inflation and instability in the global economy caused by the pandemic and the war. Read more: President Erdogan and PM Hasina vow to take Dhaka-Ankara ties to new height “Amid the crisis over Covid, our growth in the financial year 2019-20 was 3.45 percent which was one of the highest in the world for that period,” she claimed. She said that due to the various steps taken by the government to boost the economy, the GDP growth in the financial year 2020-21 increased by 6.94 percent. “It further increased to 7.10 percent in FY 2021-22.” Hasina also highlighted various measures taken by the government to keep the economy of the government alive. Read more: PM calls for more Swedish investment as H&M boss calls on her These included government expenditure rationalisation, social protection, subsidies in electricity, energy and agriculture sectors, export incentives, rise in remittance inflow, monetary policy etc, she said. In response to the question of Jatiya Party MP elected from Dhaka Syed Abu Hossain, the prime minister highlighted the various steps taken by the government to control the prices of daily commodities and said as a result of the government's activities, it has been possible to control the prices of essentials and the poor people are benefiting from it. In response to the question of Jatiya Party MP elected from Pirojpur Rustam Ali Farazi, the she said that it will be possible to start rail traffic on the Dhaka-Mawa-Bhanga section of the Padma Bridge Rail Link Project by September 2023 and the Jessore section from June 2024. Read more: Work together to regain lost glory in science and technology: PM Hasina to Muslim community In response to reserved seat MP Kha Mamata Lovely's question, the prime minister said that 555,134 families have been rehabilitated through the Ashrayan project.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam has urged the British-Bangladeshis to send remittances through the legal route. "The money sent by the expatriates in Bangladesh will be protected and there is an opportunity to earn more profits than other countries through savings and investment, including government incentives from this money,” he said while speaking as the chief guest at the remittance fair organized by the Bangladesh High Commission in London for on Tuesday (March 14), according to a press release. This fair was organized for the first time. "Some quarters are spreading baseless propaganda through various means that sending money to Bangladesh is risky. Bangladesh's economy is currently not at risk,” said the junior minister. “Citing the stability of Bangladesh’s economy, various international organizations, including the International Monetary Fund, have said the country will become the 31st economy in the world by 2030. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh still maintains its position as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, facing the Covid-19 pandemic and war situation,” he said. Shahriar urged the expatriates to play a special role in building a smart Bangladesh announced by the prime minister by sending more remittances through the legal route without being misled by any kind of non-corruption and advised the charities to register in Bangladesh and send money from the UK through the legal channel, said the release. "At present, the UK is the fourth country to send remittances to Bangladesh. This position could be elevated in the future if the British-Bangladeshis send more money to the country through legal means,” he said. On the occasion, the state minister assured to consider these proposals when the representatives of various organizations sending remittances presented various proposals to take encouraging steps including special incentives for them, added the release. The delegates of various organizations sending remittances raised various proposals to take encouraging steps, including special incentives for them. The state minister assured to consider this. Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK Saida Muna Tasneem delivered the welcome address.
The Bangladesh High Commission in London has taken a special initiative to increase the flow of remittances from the UK and Ireland through official channels. A views-exchange meeting ‘Opportunities for Greater Remittance Flows from the UK and Ireland’ was organised by the high commission with representatives of money exchange houses of the UK to this end on Friday (local time). Urging British-Bangladeshis to send remittances legally, Bangladesh High Commissioner Saida Muna Tasneem said the government led by Sheikh Hasina announced a 2.5 percent incentive against remittances for the expatriates to encourage them to send the money through valid channels. Read more: Digital infrastructure key to attracting more remittance through legal channels, speakers say She also consulted the money exchange houses to take special initiatives to boost the flows of remittance. A remittance fair will be organised in east London to increase awareness about the official channels to send remittance, she said. The high commissioner said the representatives of the money exchange houses will be trained about the means by which they can send the remittances at a low charge by using several apps. Apart from this, community televisions, newspapers and social media will be engaged in escalating the awareness about the sending of money through valid channels, she said. The money exchange representatives tabled several problems and proposals during the meeting, which weren't specified in the high commission's press release. The high commissioner however is said to have assured them of overcoming all the hurdles. Read more: Mobile financial service providers can bring remittance directly: Bangladesh Bank
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday (January 04, 2023) asked the expatriate Bangladeshis not to send money home through the hundi, a cross-border money transfer method that bypasses the legal banking system. “I would like to request those who use hundi to stop it and instead send the money directly through banking channels,” she said at a meeting with the leaders of the Awami League’s different overseas chapters including the USA and the UK ones at her office. The premier said the government is now setting up 100 economic zones in the country and the expatriates can make investment under joint-venture there. Read more: PM Hasina asks police to firmly deal with destructive acts “Those who want to do business can make investments there. If anyone (expat) can bring foreign partners (from various countries of the world) to invest here, it would be better,” she said. Expressing satisfaction over new investments coming to Bangladesh, she said the inflow of foreign funds in the country is good as the foreign investors consider Bangladesh as a good destination. Talking about the global crisis induced by the Russia-Ukraine war, Hasina said her government won’t let the people suffer from the food shortage. Read more: Foreign observers are welcome during next general election: PM Hasina tells British MPs “So, we’re purchasing food from anywhere in the world, and spending money whatever is required. We’re facing some problems because of the Ukraine war….. We will not let the people suffer,” she said, adding that the inflation rate is showing a decreasing trend in the country. She, however, expressed satisfaction over production of the Aman paddy and said that it has been a bumper yield this year. Now everyone is now busy planting Boro paddy and the stock of fertilizer is satisfactory, she added. PM Hasina said her government has already reached electricity to every house and allowed people to install small solar panels particularly for irrigation. Read More: Bangladesh gets $10.49 billion inward remittances in July-December: Central Bank.
Bangladesh received $1.59 billion inward remittance in November, showing a slight increase in expatriate income flow, according to a Bangladesh Bank source. Though the central bank is expecting a sharp rise in inward remittance flow after announcing half a dozen facilities including cash incentives and free-of-cost remittance-sending opportunities, the response is not satisfactory yet. Expatriate income or remittances have been steadily declining amid the foreign exchange crisis. The expatriates sent $1.52 billion in October. In July and August, Bangladesh received $2.09 billion and $2.03 billion respectively. Read more: Bangladesh Bank allows export income, remittance through MFS Since September the flow of inward remittance has been declining. A rumor spread among the expatriates that sending money to Bangladesh through banking channel is not secure, which has apparently impacted the remittance flow. According to Bangladesh Bank (BB) data, the country received inward remittance of $8.78 billion in July-November of FY 23 while the figure was $8.60 billion in the same time of FY 22. It shows that expatriates sent more than $180 million in remittances compared to the previous fiscal year. BB spokesperson Md Abul Kalam Azad told UNB that in order to increase remittance inflow, the central bank has increased the exchange rate of US dollars for remittance. In addition to 2.5 percent hassle-free incentive for remittance, several banks also provide additional incentives to attract foreign exchange, he said. Read more: Bangladesh received $769.88mn remittance in 2 weeks of Oct Banks will not charge any fee for sending remittances through the legal channel, he said. Research by Bangladesh Bank found that more than 40 percent of remittance is sent through illegal hundi.
Bangladesh Bank has allowed mobile financial service (MSF) providers to bring inward remittance, in order to increase remittance inflow. The foreign exchange policy department of Bangladesh Bank issued a circular in this regard on Tuesday. According to the circular, authorized dealers can make drawing arrangements directly with exchange houses abroad without prior permission from Bangladesh Bank. Read more: Bangladesh Bank allows export income, remittance through MFS Authorized dealers are also allowed to go for drawing arrangements without letters of reference or certificates from the Bangladesh embassy or high commission of the respective country. In order to bring wider flexibility, MFS providers will be allowed to repatriate wage earners’ remittance in association with internationally recognized online payment gateway service providers, banks, digital wallets, card schemes, and aggregators abroad, said the Bangladesh Bank notification. In this context, MFS providers must have standing arrangements with foreign PSPs to receive foreign currency in their account, and equivalent taka value will be credited to the wage earners’ MFS accounts. Subsequently, foreign PSPs will provide credit to the designated dealer’s Nostro account (an account that a bank holds in a foreign currency in another bank). After receiving the amount in taka, wage earners’ can use the MFS account from abroad to do all transactions in Taka. Read more: BFIU suspends cash out from 230 MFS accounts over transactions through hundi Mobile financial services who want to provide repatriation services have to apply to Foreign Exchange Policy Department by December 31, 2022, with details of proposed arrangements in accordance with the framework outlined above or similar conducive procedures. Bangladesh Bank will primarily accord permissions, to review arrangements for piloting the initiative. Bangladesh rolled out MFS in 2011. Since then, the service has seen a boom in the country. At present, 13 MFS operators are providing services to more than 18 crore account holders who are transferring nearly Tk 3,000 crore daily.
Bangladesh Bank has allowed mobile financial service (MFS) providers to repatriate (conversion of foreign currency into local currency) export income and inward remittance. All authorised dealers will provide encashment certificate to MFS providers against inward remittance, on account of information technology enabled services (ITES) exports. In order to make it easier to receive foreign exchange, Bangladesh Bank issued a circular stating that all authorised dealers in foreign exchange and all licensed MFS providers are allowed to receive export income on account of ITES exports in association with internationally recognised OPGSPs/digital wallets and/or aggregators having operation in multiple countries. The Foreign Exchange Policy Department of the central bank issued the notification on Wednesday and sent it to authorised dealers and MFS providers for immediate implementation. Read more: Towards a cashless society: MFS monthly transactions cross Tk 1.11 lakh crore The notification said that authorised dealers maintaining settlement accounts will issue encashment certificates in support of inward remittances on request from MFS providers electronically. In this case, the request needs to be supported by auto-generated information – beneficiary’s name, wallet account number, the amount in taka, date of credit – from a remittance service provider abroad. Based on their own screening parameters regarding the information, designated authorised dealers shall generate an electronic encashment certificate (as per enclosure A) with QR code accessible to beneficiaries through MFS providers. Read more: MFS sector led financial transactions during Covid-19 pandemic: Nagad MD The certificate is intended to be used for income tax purpose only.