Wednesday, January 24, 2018 | ePaper

BB to rein in illegal means

NRBs allowed to remit money up to $200 free of cost

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Badrul Ahsan :
The Bangladesh Bank (BB) has planned to curb illegal channels of money transfer by allowing non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) to send their hard-earned money home through banking channel without cost up to the amount of $200.
The BB move aims at raising the remittance inflow in the wake of the recent slide in the inflow, its officials said.
A recent BB meeting with the top bosses of commercial banks asked them to reimburse the cost of remitted money from their respective fund of corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme, a BB high official told The New Nation.
A large number of NRBs are now using 'hundi', an illegal channel of money transfer, to send money to their near and dear ones because of a lower rate of the US dollar against taka in the banking sector.
Besides, the local agents of the hundi cartel have also introduced a door-to-door service for reaching out the money sent by the NRBs for their relatives, resulting in a major setback in the inflow of remittance in recent months.
This hundi cartel is now using the mobile financial services to send money on real-time basis to the relatives of the NRBs.
However, the BB will arrange an inter-departmental meeting soon , and then it will discuss the issue with the high-ups of the Finance Ministry before implementing the plan, the BB official said.
The new move will allow an NRB to remit money   
amounting up to $200 twice a month without paying any charge.
Banks will pay the charges to the foreign banks and exchange houses on behalf of the remitters, said the official.
BB data showed a 14.18 per cent fall in remittance inflow to $11.55 billion in the 11 months (July-May) of the ongoing 2016-17 fiscal year from $13.46 billion in the same period a year earlier.
It, however, increased by 4.37 per cent to $1.26 billion in May this year from $1.21 billion in the month a year ago due to growing expenses ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr, one of the biggest religious festivals for the Muslims.
The increased trend in inward remittance in May was just a temporary phenomenon as the inflow usually posts a higher growth before Eid, the central banker said.

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