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KARACHI: Inflows of workers' remittances maintained strong growth, posting an increase of 27 percent during the first five months of this fiscal year (FY21). The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported Friday home remittances continued upward momentum as remittances remained above $ 2 billion for a record 6th consecutive month in November. Pakistan is receiving over $2 billion inflows monthly since June 2020. The country received highest-ever workers' remittances amounting to $2.76 billion during the first month (July) of this fiscal year (FY21).

Overseas Pakistani remitted workers' remittances amounting to $ 2.34 billion in November 2020 compared to $1.821 billion arrived on November 2019, showing an increase of 28.4 percent or $ 519 million. Inflows during November 2020 are also 2.4 percent higher than October 2020, in which some $2.284 billion home remittances were received.

Overall, during the first five months (July-November) of FY21, workers' remittances surged by 27 percent to reach an unprecedented level of $ 11.77 billion against $9.275 billion in the same period last year. On average, workers' remittances have been about half a billion ($ 499 million) higher in each month of FY21 as compared to the same period last year.

During the period under review, remittance inflows have mainly been sourced from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States. With 28 percent share in overall inflows, Saudi Arabia is remained the ranked one. Home remittances amounted to $ 3.3 billion were received from Saudi Arabia during July-Nov of FY21.

In addition, inflows of workers' remittances from United Arab Emirates were $ 2.4 billion (up by 7.6 percent), United Kingdom $ 1.6 billion, increased by 54 percent and home remittances from United States were $ 1.0 billion, surged by 52 percent.

The SBP said that continued government and SBP efforts to formalize remittances under the Pakistan Remittances Initiative (PRI), rising use of digital channels amid limited cross-border travel, orderly exchange market conditions, and some improvement in global economic activity are some of the important factors behind the sustained improvement in workers' remittances.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020