Inflow of remittance in July posted a fresh all-time high at $2.59 billion in July on the eve of Eid-ul-Azha, the second largest religious festivals of the Muslims, as income erosion of the near and dear ones of the expatriates prompted them to send money in higher amounts.
The inflow of remittance hit a record high at $1.83 billion in June.
Inflow of remittance is on the rise even though normalcy in the majority of overseas job markets for the country’s migrants is yet to be restored and almost all the nations are struggling to overcome the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The record inflow of remittance took place at a time when overseas employment from the country remained halted in the months of April and May this year after the outbreak of the coronavirus on March 8 this year.
In the first five months of the year 2020, overseas employment dropped to 1.81 lakh.
On an average, 36,200 people went abroad for jobs in the first five months against the monthly average migration of 58,333 people from the country in 2019, according to the statistics of the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training.
Meanwhile, Manila-based multinational lender the Asian Development Bank on Monday released a report in which it voiced concerns that the country might face significant fall in migrant incomes due to stagnation of the global economy.
It also predicted that under the worst-case scenario of the coronavirus fallout, Bangladesh’s remittances could fall by 27.8 per cent in 2020 amid mounting joblessness and employers trimming payrolls.
‘With many households depending on international remittances in developing Asia — particularly in the Pacific and Central and West Asian economies — a sudden stop in remittance flow to these regions could push people into poverty,’ the lender said in its research titled ‘Covid-19 Impact on International Migration, Remittances, and Recipient Households in Developing Asia’.
Economists in the country also cautioned that the rising trend of remittance inflow might not sustain for long as the expatriates were sending money as part of their preparation to come home.
According to data from the Bangladesh Bank, the remittance inflow in July was $1 billion or 62.89 per cent higher than the $1.59-billion inflow reported in July last year.
In recent months, migrants from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and the United States, among other countries, have been sending higher amounts of money.
With the increase in the remittance inflow, the country’s foreign exchange reserve exceeded the $37-billion mark on July 27 this year.
Speaking about the record follow of remittance, Policy Research Institute executive director Ahsan H Mansur told New Age last week that the record inflow of remittance in June-July was not normal considering the global economic state and the situation in the migrant workers’ job destinations.
‘It might be the joblessness of the expatriates that prompted them to send all their savings before they came to the country,’ he said.
Speaking about the pile-up in reserve amid the economic stagnancy, Ahsan said that the reserve surged mainly due to a fall in imports and it was a reflection of the weak economic state of the country.
In the immediate past fiscal year, the inflow of remittance posted an all-time high at $18.21 billion.
In FY20, the government introduced a 2-per cent cash incentive provision against inward remittance in an attempt to encourage the migrants to send money through legal channels.
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