In June, Bangladesh received $1.83 billion in remittance
Defying all odds amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, remittance inflows continued to rise for the third consecutive month and reached $2.60 billion in July, the highest ever, as migrants sent more for family to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha.
However, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) estimated that Bangladesh remittance inflow will fall by 27.8% in 2020 as job losses mounted and employers trimmed payrolls.
According to the Bangladesh Bank data, the country received $2.60 billion in remittance from expatriates in July, up by 62.74% compared to $1.59 billion in the same period last year.
In June this year, Bangladesh received $1.83 billion in remittance.
Meanwhile, in the 2019-20 fiscal year, remittance inflow hit a new record of $18.20 billion, up by 10.87% compared to FY2018-19.
Why remittance continues to rise
The inbound remittances have been showing better performance for the last couple of months amid the pandemic as the expatriate Bangladeshis sent money to their family members ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha festivals.
"Migrant workers usually send more money ahead of Eid so that their family members can celebrate the festival. This year amid the pandemic, they also have sent money for their families," Md Sirajul Islam, the central bank spokesman told Dhaka Tribune.
"To me, it is the main reason for the sharp rise."
|Bangladesh’s remittance inflows in 2020|
Remittances in $ billion
Source: Bangladesh Bank
However, economists opined that there is apprehension of downtrend in the coming months as the workers are losing jobs, while those who are in jobs are not able to perform duties due to lockdown as well as slowdown in economic activities.
The present growth in remittance inflow would not sustain unless the economies in the hosting countries recover soon with the control of the pandemic, they said.
"We cannot be happy with the sharp rise of remittance inflows in recent months as there is a gloomy picture behind it," Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of Policy Research Institute (PRI), told Dhaka Tribune.
As a part of their preparation to return home, the migrant workers are sending all of their savings, which is a big reason for the sharp rise in remittance inflow, said the economist.
"On the other hand, expatriates, especially those who are permanent residents in EU, the US, and developed countries, sent a good amount of money for family members to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha, which is another reason for the rise," said Mansur.
However, central bank spokesperson Sirajul Islam does not agree with the economist.
"As far as I know, no country took such a decision that they will send the workers back due to the Covid-19," he said.
"Those, who were at risk of return, already returned home and we hope that the current trend of inbound remittance will continue in the coming months.
"I am not so pessimistic to think that the workers have sent all of their savings and they will come back."