In October this year, over 2.11 billion dollars ( 211 crore 2 lakh 40 thousand dollars) was sent to the country as remittance. In November this dropped somewhat to around 2.08 billion dollars (207 crore 87 lakh 40 thousand dollars).
Foreign remittance is hitting a record. In the first five months of 2020-21 fiscal (July-November), remittance went up by 41.32 per cent. Another record is that this month the total remittance has crossed 10 billion dollars (1,000 crore dollars). In these five months, the remittance arriving in the country totaled around 10.90 billion dollars (1 thousand 90 crore 43 lakh 80 thousand dollars).
In November 2019, around 1.55 billion dollars (155 crore 5 lakh 30 thousand dollars) arrived in remittance. This was a growth of 33.66 per cent. In the first five months of the 2019-20 fiscal, remittance was around 7.77 billion dollars (771 crore 62 lakh 50 thousand dollars).
COVID-19 has hit the global economy hard. International trade has fallen. All international agencies had forecast a drop in remittance. It had been said initially there may be an increase, but this would not last because large numbers of migrant workers were losing their jobs and returning home. And many could not return to their place of employment and so this would have an impact in the future. However, the high inflow of remittance continues.
Bangladesh Bank spokesperson Sirajul Islam, speaking to Prothom Alo about the matter, said, “The expatriates are sending in record amounts of remittance every month. This will have a significant impact on the economy.”
He added, “With the added remittance, the banks are getting funds for investment and the foreign exchange reserves are hitting a record.”
The 2 per cent incentive has had a contribution to the increase in remittance. A 2 per cent cash incentive is being paid on remittance from 2019. This decision taken by finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has boosted the inflow of remittance. Some banks too are also offering an additional 1 per cent cash incentive from their own funds, also bringing in more remittance from the expatriates.
Over all, this record amount of remittance provides a relief to the economy in these coronavirus times. In October, a World Bank report had said that remittance would decrease globally due to the impact of Covid, but it would increase in Bangladesh. In the current year 2020, 20 billion dollars may come in remittance. Bangladesh will rank 8th in receiving remittance.
India ranks in the top place where remittance is concerned (76 billion dollars). China comes up second (60 billion dollars). Third place is taken by Mexico (41 billion dollars). But in proportion to the GDP, Bangladesh ranks fourth, remittance totaling 6.2 per cent of the GDP. Nepal ranks first with 23 per cent of the GDP, Pakistan second with 9.1 per cent, and Sri Lanka third, with remittance 8.2per cent of the GDP.