Bangladeshi expatriates have clocked another new record in remittance inflow by sending home over $1 billion in the first 12 days of November in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Such a whopping amount of remittance never came in such a brief period since the independence.
From November 1 to 12, the expatriates remitted $106.6 crore, while the amount was $73.6 crore in the corresponding period of the last year.
In other words, the year-on-year remittance inflow registered a 45% rise, said sources at the central bank and the finance ministry.
Remittance inflow amounted to $989.1 crore from July to November 12 this year, which is around 43% higher than in the previous year. In the same period last year, Bangladeshi expats remitted $689.7 crore.
On the burgeoning remittance inflow, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said, "The country's remittance warriors have been instrumental in keeping our economy afloat at a time when the pandemic fallout has caused a major economic crisis all over the world."
"Although many were sceptical about the inflow during the pandemic, the remittance growth since the government announcement on cash incentive on sending money through legal channels has proved all their predictions wrong. It has also proved once again that we were right," Kamal said.
The minister noted that achieving over $2 billion in expatriate incomes per month on an average is rare in the history.
In the meantime, Dhaka University international relations department Prof and migration expert CR Abrar echoed the finance minister that cash incentive has positively affected remittance stream.
However, he believes the surge is temporary.
"Many expats have lost their jobs and returned home. It is still uncertain when they would be able to reenter those countries. Manpower export has also stopped," he explained the odds.
A World Bank report in October said, "At a time when the Covid-19 pandemic and economic crisis continue to destabilise the global economy – Bangladesh's remittance earnings have been projected to increase by about 8% in 2020 which may show little sign of recovery."
The government allocated Tk3,060 crore for cash incentive on remittance this fiscal year. The allocation on the purpose last year was also the same. A total of Tk765 crore is disbursed from the allocation for the incentive every three months.