The reserves have increased due to a decrease in imports for the Covid-19 pandemic
Bangladesh's foreign exchange reserves have hit a record $41.03 billion, amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The reserves reached $41.03 billion for the first time on Wednesday, according to a weekly report of Bangladesh Bank published on Thursday.
Imports decreased due to the ongoing pandemic, which badly affected different sectors of the country's economy. Thus reserves have been increasing day by day, the report said.
By the end of March this year, the month when Covid-19 first hit the country, the reserves were $32.39 billion. By October 8, it increased by $7.61 billion, reaching $40 billion.
The reserves reached $39 billion in September, $38.15 billion in August, $37.1 billion in July and hit the $34 billion, $35 billion, and $36 billion marks in June.
The previous highest reserves were recorded on September 5, 2017, when the amount was $33.68 billion.
Remittance inflow also played a vital role behind the surge in foreign exchange reserves, said a high official of the Bangladesh Bank, adding that the government’s initiative of issuing a 2% cash incentive against inward remittances had also played a vital role.
Remittance inflow increased by 48.45% to $6.71 billion in the July-September period of the current fiscal year, compared to the same period of the last fiscal year, as per the central bank data.
Former lead economist at the World Bank Dhaka office, Zahid Hussain, said Bangladeshi expatriates were sending more money to their relatives as most of their relatives had lost their sources of income.
Besides, a huge number of Bangladeshi expatriates had sent all their savings to their families before they returned home, he remarked.
Most expatriates had sent their hard–earned money through banking channels instead of hundi owing to the pandemic, which also boosted the remittance earnings, he explained.