Convenes meeting with 30 banks today
Bangladesh Bank has identified primarily eight reasons including a rise in the use of ‘hundi’ channel even for sending small amount of money by the expatriate Bangladeshis and mobile banking transactions for the recent dip in the inflow of remittances through the banking channel.
In an effort to plug the holes, the central bank has convened a meeting of managing directors of 30 banks today.
According to a BB paper, the inflow of remittances decreased in recent months as many expatriate Bangladeshis opted to send their money to the country through illegal channels like hundi because of a lower rate of the dollar against the taka in the banking sector.
‘The NRBs [non-resident Bangladeshis] are now using hundi channel to send even small amount of money. They earlier used the channel to send large amount of money only,’ the paper said.
The NRBs in the Gulf countries are now sending their hard-earned money through hundi channel, but the local agents of the hundi system disburse the money to the relatives of the expatriate Bangladeshis through mobile banking, the paper said.
According to the latest BB data, inward remittances dropped by 15.42 per cent to $4.25 billion in the first four months of the current fiscal year of 2016-17 compared with that of $5.03 billion in the same period of last fiscal year as its inflow dropped for the four consecutive months till October.
The BB paper said that the Bangladesh government had recently failed to export human resources to new markets and the manpower export to old markets like Malaysia, United Arab Emirates and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia decreased.
The country is failing to export skilled manpower abroad that has also put an adverse impact on the inward remittances, it said.
Against the backdrop, the central bank selected 30 banks, which earn more remittances than the other banks, for a meeting at the BB headquarters in the capital, a BB official told New Age on Sunday.
BB deputy governor SK Sur Chowdhury will preside over the meeting.
A large number of NRBs were compelled to return to the country due the government’s failure in renewing the licences of the expatriate Bangladeshis in due time, the BB paper said.
The recent rise in the prices of essential commodities in the Gulf countries forced the NRBs to spend more that played a role in decreasing the inward remittances.
‘Most of the expatriate workers are either semi-skilled or unskilled. Their incomes have decreased due to the global change in the business sector,’ the paper said.
On October 30, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a letter asking the BB high ups to unearth the causes of the decline in the inward remittances in recent months.
A BB official told New Age on Sunday that banks were reluctant to bring the inward remittances as the country’s import demand was very low in recent months.
Most of the banks are now facing excess dollar due to lower import payments against higher export earnings, he said.
For this reason, banks are not giving a satisfactory exchange rate for greenbacks to their clients, he said.
Banks now enjoying adequate amount of greenbacks as the prices of petroleum products and essential commodities have declined significantly on the global market, he said.
The lower exchange rate between the taka and the dollar encouraged the NRBs to send their hard-earned money through ‘hundi’ channel, he said.
The BB will ask the banks to take more initiative so that the NRBs will send their money through the banking channel, the central banker said.
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