The remittance inflow dipped 19.75% year-on-year in September to $1.73 billion, which is also the lowest in 16 months, according to data released by the Bangladesh Bank on Sunday.
Bangladeshi expatriates sent home $2.15 billion in September last year.
The amount remitted in September this year was 4.63% lower than the August earnings.
From July to September of the current 2021-22 fiscal year, total remittance inflow was $5.40 billion, down from $6.71 billion sent home during the same period last fiscal year.
Most of the total remittance came through Islami Bank as usual. Total inflow through the bank was about $462 million. Remittance via Dutch Bangla Bank was $204 million. State-owned Agrani Bank received $149 million, Sonali Bank $111 million and Janata Bank $61 million.
In FY 2020-21, the July inflow of $2.6 billion saw an increase of 62.5% compared to the remittance earned in the same month a year ago. The country's remittance earnings in FY21 reached an all-time high of $24.78 billion despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
The decline in remittance inflow in September this year pushed up the demand for and exchange rate of dollar.
According to a report published on the central bank's website, some banks traded dollar at Tk88.50 while most other banks quoted Tk87.88.
Executive Director of Bangladesh Bank Sirajul Islam said, "Bangladesh Bank has sufficient dollars in reserve. Banks can buy dollars from us as per their demand."
Last December, the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) projected that as the year-on-year migration rate had already declined by around 71% due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the increasing remittance stream might tumble in 2021.
Distinguished Fellow of Centre for Policy Dialogue Professor Mustafizur Rahman said, "When the country was dealing with the impacts of Covid-19 last year, the Bangladeshi diaspora sent money to their families from their savings. As a result, the remittance stream was high."
He also pointed out that during the lockdown, remittance inflow came through proper banking channels while transactions through informal channels like hundi might have decreased causing the remittance flow to go up.
Explaining the reasons behind the recent declines, Prof Mustafizur said, "The number of people migrating abroad has decreased. While some 7 lakh people used to migrate each year, statistics say less than three and a half lakh people will migrate this year. This is another reason behind the remittance slump."