Remittance falls ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr

File photo

The inflow of remittance fell ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr as expatriates remitted nearly 2 billion UD dollars in March – a drop from the previous month, as well as the corresponding period of the previous year.

The inflow of remittance stood at over 2.16 billion US dollars in February.

Bankers are worried about the fall in the inflow of remittances.

Several bankers, however, said another reason might be that many expatriates return home ahead of Eid and carry dollars instead of sending those through legal channels because the exchange rate of dollars is Tk 4-5 more in the kerb markets than the banks.

The official exchange rate of the dollar is now at Tk 110 a dollar, but banks are offering Tk 114-115 a dollar due to the persisting dollar crisis, and that was over Tk 120 a dollar a couple of weeks ago.

According to the bankers, higher exchange rates and the growing repatriation of the laundered money home triggered the rise in remittance through legal channels.

The inflow of remittance started rising at the end of 2023 after a sluggish trend. Earnings from remittance stood at 1.93 billion UD dollars in November and 1.93 US dollars in December last year.

Remittance rose by 3 per cent to 21.90 billion US dollars in 2023 from 21.30 billion US dollars in 2022 while the figure stood at 22.07 billion US dollars in 2021, 21.73 billion US dollars in 2020 and 18.33 billion US dollars in 2019.

According to the latest data from Bangladesh Bank, expatriates remitted 510 million US dollars on 1-8 March, 510 million US dollars on 9-15 March, 400 million US dollars on 16-22 March, and 400 million US dollars 23-29 and 180 million US dollars on 30-31 March.

Islami Bank received the highest amount of remittance in March, followed by Janata Bank, Brac Bank, Trust Bank, Social Islami Bank and City Bank.

Mutual Trust Bank managing director Syed Mahbubur Rahman told Prothom Alo, “Dollar prices fell slightly due to a rise in inflow of remittance, but it started rising again. We expected the dollar crisis would ease and the inflow of remittance would increase, but it did not happen. We could not understand why it happened. Many expatriates remitted in February and many may do so in April as there is still time ahead of Eid.”