Bangladesh records 25% growth in remittances in March

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Bangladeshi migrants sent $1.86 billion home in March ahead of Ramadan this year, 25% more than the previous month and also the highest in eight months.

As the virus situation began to normalize amid 2021, the remittance tonic that has largely helped the country’s economy recover from the pandemic has started to gradually decline. Remittances in February this year were $1.49 billion, the lowest in 21 months.

Affected people say that several government incentives and normalized migration have boosted remittances outside of Ramadan – the month of fasting and celebrating Eid. They also insisted that the influx will also remain high in the coming months.

Remittances have declined since June last year as the pandemic waned. After a six-month decline, admissions rose slightly in December and January, then fell again to $1.09 billion in February this year.

The government has set a target of $26 billion in remittance revenue for the fiscal year 2021-2022. After the first nine months of the current fiscal year, 57.69% of the target was met as remittances stood at $15.29 billion, more than 17% less than the corresponding period of $18.59 billion the previous year.

Meanwhile, the government has increased the cash incentive on remittances to 2.50% from the previous 2%.

Mustafizur Rahman, a senior researcher at the Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said Bangladeshi migrants sent their savings to their families back home during the pandemic.

“Now they are sending more ahead of Ramadan and Eid. This flow could persist for the next couple of months,” he told The Business Standard.

He also attributed an increased incentive to a higher flow of remittances.

In March, $391 million in remittances passed through Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited.

The bank’s managing director, Mohammed Monirul Moula, said: “Remittances increase during Ramadan and Eid. In addition, we have launched an application allowing instant money transfer from n’ any country. It would further increase remittances.”

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