Published: Monday, May 6, 2013

Remittances slip, slightly

Remittances slip, slightly

Bangladesh received more than $1.18 billion in remittances in April, down by 3.82 percent from the previous month, the central bank said yesterday.
The amount in April, however, was about 9 percent higher than that in the same month a year ago.
Overall, remittances rose 15.9 percent to $12.30 billion in the first ten months (July-April) of the current fiscal year, from $10.61 billion in the same period last year.
This is the 17th month in a row that remittances remained above the one-billion-dollar mark.
The building collapse in Savar last month might have an impact on the remittance inflow, said   Mustafa K Mujeri, director general of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies.
“It [the building collapse] was a great shock for the migrant workers. This made them psychologically disturbed, which might have discouraged them to remit,” he said.
The higher inflow of remittances is important as it eases pressures on the balance of payments and curbs volatility in the exchange rate.
Government efforts to send more workers abroad and banks’ steps to ensure quicker delivery of money to the relatives of migrant workers have helped remittances climb.
Bangladesh sent 6.07 lakh workers abroad in 2012, up from 5.68 lakh the year before, according to state-run Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training. Currently, more than 80 lakh Bangladeshis work abroad.
Remittance receipts totalled $12.84 billion in fiscal 2011-12, up from $11.65 billion in the previous year.