BB to get report on fall in remittance soon as teams visit 3 countries

DHAKA, March 21, 2017 (BSS) - Two delegations of Bangladesh Bank (BB) returned home today after visiting Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Malaysia to find out reasons of downward trend in country's remittance inflow.

The teams will submit their findings soon to BB Governor Fazle Kabir, a BB official told BSS.

"The two teams have already returned home. We are preparing a report after analysing the findings of our investigation," said BB Economic Advisor Dr M Aktharuzzaman, who led one of the two teams.

As the falling trend of the inflow of remittances is becoming a matter of concern for the country, two teams of experts of BB went to Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Malaysia to find out the reasons behind the declining trend of remittances.

BB economic advisor Dr M Akhtaruzzaman led a three-member team and General Manager of BB Governor's Secretariat Dr M Habibur Rahman led another three-member team.

Aktharuzzaman said, during the visit, they met with many Non-Resident Bangladeshis (NRBs), including workers, doctors, engineers, accountants and many other professionals, at Mecca, Riyadh and Jeddah and tried to find out the reasons behind the declining trend of remittance inflow.

"We discussed with them through meetings and spot discussions, especially in marketplaces or workplaces," he added.

The other team also met different stakeholders, business community and NRBs in Malaysia and Singapore, said another BB official.

Low oil price is one of the reasons of the declining trend of remittance inflow, he said adding that the earnings of NRBs are lower than before as the economic situation of the two countries are not in a good position.

Bangladesh migrants sent home US$1337.14 million from Malaysia and US$387.24 million from Singapore in 2015-16.

According to BB, Bangladesh received US$1478.42 million in remittances from Saudi Arabia, US$744.46 million from Malaysia and US$204.61 million from Singapore for the first eight months of FY17.

But inward remittance maintained a sluggish trend from the very beginning of FY17 and the country received a total of US$8,112.52 million for the first eight months of FY17 though the amount was US$9774.09 million during the same period of FY16.

In February 2017, the country received only $936.20 million, the lowest ever, while the amount was $1136.27 million in February 2016.

Earlier, Executive Director of the central bank, Subhankar Shah, told BSS that the falling currency rate against dollar and low oil prices have hit the incomes of the Middle Eastern countries where most of the Bangladeshi migrants work.

"Some NRBs are also using informal channel, including mobile banking, for sending their money home," he added.

He also said BB has already asked different mobile banking operators to enhance further their surveillance in the mobile money transactions.

"The central bank has also enhanced its own supervision on mobile money transactions," he added.

He also said the central bank has already lowered the ceiling of the mobile banking transactions for checking any abuse of the services.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)