For the first time, the country's remittance inflow crossed $17 billion mark in a fiscal year despite a recent fall for the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the Bangladesh Bank data, from July 1 last year to June 10 this year, expatriate Bangladeshis sent $17.06 billion, thanks to the government's budget declaration of 2 percent incentive on inward remittance for the current fiscal year.
The government allocated Tk3,060 crore remittance incentive for the current fiscal year.
An official of the central bank said the incentive has acted as the key driver to increase remittance.
In 2018-19 fiscal year, the country received $16.41 billion remittances and the figure was $14.98 billion in 2017-18.
According to the budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year 2020-21, the government is continuing 2 percent incentive on inward remittance.
Currently, there are over 1.02 crore Bangladeshis working in 174 countries across the world. In 2019-20, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced 2 percent incentive on money remitted by expatriate Bangladeshis. The objectives were to mitigate the burden of increased expenses in sending foreign remittance and to encourage bringing remittance through legal channels.
On Thursday, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said in his budget speech, "During the current fiscal year remittance grew significantly for incentive. I, therefore, propose to continue this incentive in the next fiscal year too."
Dr Salehuddin Ahmed, former governor of the Bangladesh Bank, appreciated the initiative to continue the incentive on remittance. He said it will help to boost inward remittance and overcoming the stress of Covid-19 pandemic though a significant number of migrant workers lost their job and returned to the country.
Bangladesh Bank's data shows - from July to May this fiscal year, a remittance of $16.36 billion arrived in the country. The figure is 8.72 percent higher from the same period of the previous fiscal year. The first ten days of this June, the country received $700 million, a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank told The Business Standard.
On the other hand, on Wednesday (June 10) Bangladesh's forex reserve stood at $34.43 billion for the growing remittance and the foreign aid inflow.
On June 3, the country's forex reserve crossed $34 billion mark for the first time.