Expatriate Bangladeshis have sent in more than $11 billion in remittances during the first nine months of the current 2012-13 fiscal – which is almost 17 percent more than the same period last year.
Bangladesh Bank Forex Reserve and Treasury Management Division General Manager Kazi Saidur Rahman provide details to bdnews24.com and said that $ 1.2 billion remittance has flowed into Bangladesh in March alone.
In total, from July 2012 to March 2013, the total remittance inflow was $11.11 billion. During the same period last fiscal, remittance flow stood at $9.53 billion.
It is mainly due to the flow of remittance that the country's forex reserve crossed the $14 billion mark. On Wednesday, the reserve stood at $14.16 billion. The reserve was at peak on Mar 6 at $14.27 billion.
After clearing dues at Asian Clearing Union (ACU), the reserve dropped to $13.5 billion. Later on Mar 25, remittance inflow pushed the scale to $14 billion again.
Increase in export revenues and decrease in import costs also contributed to the growing forex reserve, Saidur Rahman said.
Meanwhile, to keep the current rate of remittance inflow and export revenues up, the apex bank has picked up 3.6 billion dollars from the market until now (in the current fiscal year). Bangladesh Bank never had to buy this big an amount to keep Dollar rates stable.
Dollar rates have been falling against Taka for more than a year now. On Sunday, the exchange rate was Tk 78.10 per Dollar.
In January last year, exchange rates climbed to Tk 85 per Dollar afvter which it started falling . But a stronger Taka, good for the country's pride, may make Bangladesh exports less competiutive, which is why the Bangladesh Bank is trying to stabilise the exchange rate.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith emphasized this during a discussion on the 2013-14 budget, when he said: “To keep the positive rate of remittance and export revenue, exchange rates must be kept stable.”
Remittance is contributing to the country’s economy in a big way, Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Parliamentary Standing Committee Chief Anisul Islam Mahmud said in the meeting.
Half of the $24 billion export revenue is spent in financing imports, he said. “If we curb the Hundi, the $14 billion remittance can go up to $20 billion.”
Bangladesh Bank statistics shows expatriates had sent in $14.2 billion in 2012 – 21 percent more compared to 2011. This is the highest inflow rate in the history of Bangladesh.
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