Bangladesh received US$13.6 billion remittance in 2016, which is far below from $15.3 billion in the year 2015, according to the Bangladesh Bank data.
Remittance earnings saw 2.50% growth in the year 2015 from $14.94 billion in the year 2014.
“Expatriates sent highest amount of remittance in the year 2015 and remittance inflow trend was slow from the beginning of the last year due to oil price fall in the international market,” said a senior executive of the central bank.
He said: “Slump in oil price hurt the overall earnings of the wage earners mostly from the gulf countries, which pushed remittance inflow to downward.”
The Gulf countries, the largest labour market for Bangladeshi expatriates and also the main source of remittance, are going through an economic crisis due to the oil price slump. As a result, remittance inflow from those countries declined which hit hard the overall remittance inflow in Bangladesh, he opined.
Moreover, differences in exchange rate between institutions and curb market made the expatriates reluctant to send money through banking channel.
The exchange rate in the curb market went up to Tk82 against dollar while market rate hovering at around Tk78.
The abolition of India’s higher value bank notes leads to price hike in US dollar as well as its crisis in Bangladesh curb market as tourists opt for the bucks before visiting India, said a senior executive of a private bank.
In a move to curb the black money menace, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared abolition of currency notes of Rs1000 and Rs500 from November 9, 2016.
Bangladesh Bank is planning to import cash dollar to meet up existing dollar crisis caused after abolition of India’s high value bank note.
Central bank already urged the government to withdraw import duty on cash dollar import to reduce the difference of exchange rate between institutions and curb market.
Remittance inflow remained slow in the last month of the concluded year with receipt amount of $958 million. Bangladesh received the remittance of $951 million in November this year, a monthly lowest receipt in five years from $900 million in November 2011.
The monthly remittance amount had remained over $1 billion since 2012.
Expatriates living in the Gulf countries sent a total remittance of $548 million in November compared to $591 million in October this year.
The country received the highest monthly remittance of $671 million in August from middle-eastern countries within the five months of current fiscal year.
The total remittance from the gulf countries was $8.55 billion in the fiscal year 2015-16, lower from $9 billion in the previous fiscal year.
The total remittance received from Bahrain in five months from July to November of the fiscal year 2016-17 stood at $147 million followed by Kuwait $419 million, Oman $367 million, Qatar $220 million, KSA $964 million and UAE $874 million, according to the central bank data.