By Melody Chikono
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has received US$120 million in diaspora remittances in the two months to February 2018 as monthly inflows now average US$60 million.
Last month, the RBZ outlined a three-prong approach to boost diaspora remittances into the country following declines recorded in 2015 and 2016.
Zimbabwe is looking to boost remittances into the country after it received US$698,9 million last year. This accounted for 49% of total international remittances (US$1,4 billion) in 2017.
To boost remittances, the central bank last year increased the Diaspora Remittances Incentive Scheme (DRIS) from 3% to 10% effective August 1, 2017 to encourage channelling of remittances through formal channels.
RBZ governor John Mangudya told businessdigest on Wednesday that, of the total figure, 30% is attributable to diaspora remittance incentive.
“Off the cuff, we are now receiving US$60 million on a monthly basis from diaspora remittances, so for January and February it stood at US$120 million. Of the total amount 30% is attributable to the diaspora remittance incentive scheme.
“We are saying thank you for sending through money. It has helped a lot in channelling money into the country. We have seen more returns through the exports and remittances,” he said.
Mangudya said more is expected in terms of remittances as the country opens up for business with investment expected to increase.
The central bank introduced the Diaspora Remittances Incentive Scheme last year to benefit both the money transfer agents and the receiver of the funds on the basis of a 2% and 3% split to reduce the cost of receiving and sending remittances.
Presenting the 2018 Monetary Policy Statement last month, Mangudya set out interventions that the central bank had come up with to improve diaspora remittances.