Bangladesh remittances reach 2nd highest on Eid festival in May

DHAKA, June 4 (Xinhua) — Ahead of one of the biggest Muslim religious festivals Eid-ul-Fitr that marks the end of the Islamic holy fasting month of Ramadan, millions of Bangladeshis remitted home nearly 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in May, the second highest monthly amount thus far, a central bank official said Sunday.

Quoting provisional data, the Bangladesh Bank (BB) official said the amount of remittance from over 10 million non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs), who are mostly employed in the Middle East, stood at 1.49 billion U.S. dollars last month, up 17.32 percent from that of the same period a year earlier.

According to the official, previous monthly highest remittance for Bangladesh was 1.5 billion U.S. dollars which the country received in July 2014.

The official, who declined to be named, said the flow of inward remittances surged about 18 percent year-on-year to 13.58 billion U.S. dollars in July-May period of the current 2017-18 fiscal year (July 2017-June 2018), which are also higher than last fiscal year.

The flow of inward remittances in the last fiscal year 2016-17 (July 2016-June 2017) fell about 14.47 percent to 12.77 billion U.S. dollars from the previous fiscal year.

The official reported that like past years Eid has come as a big boon for Bangladesh as the country has been receiving huge remittances from NRBs who send home Eid bonuses too.

The Muslim-majority Bangladesh will celebrate Eid-ul Fitr, the holiest and biggest religious festival among the world’s Muslims, on or around June 15.

“We hope that remittance boom will continue until the Eid day,” said the official.

Apart from Eid, officials said the government’s efforts to send more Bangladeshis abroad with overseas employment have also contributed to the growth in inflow of remittances.

Bangladeshi Minister of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Nurul Islam said the country plans to send some 1.2 million Bangladeshis abroad with overseas employment this year.

The expectation comes after over 1 million Bangladeshis found overseas jobs in 2017.

Remittances, which account for around 11 percent of the country’s GDP, mainly come from countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea, among others.