Bangladeshi migrant labourers have sent home a record $1.22 billion in January this year, easing concern over the country's eroding foreign exchange reserves, a central bank official said Friday.
The figure is up 25 percent over January last year and six percent higher than the previous monthly record of ê1.15 billion set in December last year, Bangladesh Bank Executive Director Ahsan Ullah said.
"January's remittance figure is the highest ever Bangladesh has received in a month," he told AFP, adding that a 20-percent depreciation of Taka against the greenback since January last year prompted many to send home more money.
Taka has been sliding fast since late last year when the country's current account dived into deficit.
"It's a good news for the economy. It has significantly helped boost our foreign exchange reserve," Ullah said.
Remittances from the country's seven million-plus migrants are Bangladesh's second-highest foreign exchange earner after exports and are seen as a big help in alleviating poverty in the impoverished South Asian nation.
"This fiscal year ending in June, 2012, we are confident annual remittances will cross $12 billion," said Ullah.
Bangladeshi migrants sent home $11.65 billion last fiscal year.
According to government figures, seven million Bangladeshis work overseas, although unofficial estimates put the figure at around nine million.