Speaking to Prothom Alo regarding this, Tasneem Siddiqui, the founding chairman of Refugee and Migratory Movement Research Unit (RMMRU), said the income of a number of expatriate workers has decreased due to the pandemic. They are yet to cope with that. And many of the expatriate workers do not have the ability to save money at the moment. Many families are dipping into the previous savings money. Stimulus can be given to encourage them to save. In particular, an easy process to invest in bonds or extra interest on their deposit will encourage them even more.

Meanwhile, deposits of expatriates as well as special schemes in the banking sector have also declined. Special schemes include education savings, Hajj scheme, Mohrana scheme, health savings and special purpose savings. In December 2020, the deposit in the special savings scheme was Tk 347.71 billion, which decreased to Tk 326.76 billion by September last year.

People inside the banking sector say the savings for special purposes has reduced due to the pandemic. Many are dipping into the deposits in special savings schemes as they are not able to deposit the regular instalments. Therefore, the amount of money deposited under special schemes has declined.

The growth of deposits in the banking sector has also slowed down. From January 2020 to January last year, deposits in the banking sector increased by Tk 146.316 billion. And from January 2021 to January 2022, the deposit has increased by Tk 115.552 billion.

However, the bankers are saying that the banks have purchased a lot of dollars from the central bank with taka. Therefore, the growth of deposits has decreased.

After the emergence of coronavirus, the biggest shock on remittance came in March and April in 2020. However, there was a big jump in remittance right after that. The expatriates used to send $ 1.4 to 1.5 billion every month on average before the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic. After that the amount of remittance increased a lot. In just one month, the remittance increased to about 2.6 billion dollars.

But when the situation became normal and global communication gained momentum, it started to decline.

As a result the remittance increased slightly to $ 22.07 billion in 2021. The number was $ 21.74 billion in 2020. Although the income increased on a year-on-year basis, it decreased by about 21 per cent in the fiscal year. As a result, the deposits of expatriates are also decreasing, as per the bankers.

Mirza Ilias Uddin Ahmed, managing director of Jamuna Bank, said, “Remittance inflow has decreased significantly. The expatriates are yet to recover from that shock. Therefore, the relatives of the expatriates are now dipping into the savings. Many are investing in other sectors with the deposited money. However, investments are good for the country.

He further said, “Although the growth of deposits has declined, there is no crisis. The banks have a surplus of more than Tk 1 trillion of deposits. Probably all the banks do not have money.

Meanwhile, the government has been giving incentives at the rate of 2.5 per cent since the beginning of this year to increase remittance, which was 2 per cent earlier.

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