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KARACHI: Inflows of home remittances continued to post a strong growth, exceeding $2 billion for the eighth consecutive month in January 2021 supported by the measures taken by federal government and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

According to the SBP, overseas Pakistani workers remitted $2.3 billion in January 2021, up by 19 percent over January 2020, in which some $1.9 billion workers’ remittances arrived. However, remittances received in January 2021 were slightly lower from the December 2020 level of $2.4 billion.

On cumulative basis, workers’ remittances registered 24 percent growth during the first seven months of this fiscal year (FY21) over the same period of last year. Overall inflows of workers’ remittances reached the $16.5 billion mark during Jul-Jan of FY21 compared to $13.279 billion in the corresponding period of last fiscal year, showing an increase of $3.2 billion.

The SBP said that this sustained increase in workers’ remittances largely reflects growing use of banking channel that is attributed to continuous efforts by government and SBP to attract inflows through official channel, limited cross border travel amid second wave of COVID-19 and flexible exchange rate regime.

The detailed report revealed that a large part of workers’ remittances during Jul-Jan FY21 was sourced from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom (UK) and United States (US).

Inflows from Saudi Arab posted a healthy growth of 22 percent to $4.508 billion in July-Jan of FY21 up from $3.705 in same period of last fiscal year.

During the period under review, home remittances from USA and UK increased by 46 percent and 52 percent respectively. Pakistan received home remittances amounted to $1.407 billion from USA and some $2.180 billion from UK during the first seven months of this fiscal year.

The country wise details for the month of January 2021 show that inflows from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, GCC countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman) and EU countries amounted to $553 million, $492 million, $203 million, $303 million, $271 million and $229 million respectively.

Remittances received from Malaysia, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries during January 2021 were amounted to $221 million together.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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