A surge in remittance inflow even amid the pandemic time has boosted the government's morale in maintaining the stability of the macro economy, says the Bangladesh Bank.
In its Quarterly Report on Remittance Inflows in Bangladesh October-December 2020, the central bank maintained that money sent home by Bangladeshi expatriates is playing a role in increasing employment opportunities, improving the living standard of the people and raising foreign exchange reserves.
As a result of high remittance inflows, the country's foreign exchange reserves have exceeded $44 billion.
In the first 25 days of this month, the country received $1.63 billion in remittances. By the end of the month, the volume is expected to reach $1.8 billion.
In the first seven months (July-January) of the current fiscal year, remittance inflows have increased by 35% as compared to the same period of the previous year, according to official data.
Such an increase in remittance inflows even during the coronavirus pandemic is what is helping to maintain the stability of the macro economy.
However, due to lower import costs, the surplus or current account surplus in foreign trade transactions has kept increasing. In the first six months of the current fiscal year, it exceeded $4.3 billion.
According to the central bank's report, remittance inflows in the second quarter (October-December) of the current financial year stood at $6.2 billion, up by 27.47% compared to the same quarter of last year.
In the October-December period of last year, the highest amount of remittances came from Saudi Arabia, which accounted for 23.32% of the country's total remittance income in that period.
Among the banks, the highest remittances came through Islami Bank, which accounted for about one-third of the total remittances.
Citing the World Bank's data, the central bank in its report said Bangladesh was the third largest recipient of remittances in South Asia in 2020. India and Pakistan were in the first and second position respectively.
Even though the export of manpower was stopped due to the pandemic, it has started on a limited scale.
Manpower exports resumed from the first quarter of FY21, after being closed since March 2020. Only 275 people went abroad in those three months, of which 23 were women.
In the October-December period last year, the total manpower export from the country increased to over 36,000. Of them, 3,000 were women. During this period, the highest number of workers went to Saudi Arabia.
According to the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET), 1.23 crore Bangladeshi workers have migrated abroad for work till 2020.