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KARACHI: Workers’ remittances continued to post a strong growth, surging by over 24 percent during the first eight months of this fiscal year (FY21) supported by the government’s measurers to encourage inflows through legal channels.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Thursday reported that overall inflows of workers’ remittances reached $18.743 billion during Jul-Feb of FY21 compared to $15.104 billion in the corresponding period of FY20, depicting an increase of 24.1 percent or $3.639 billion. According to the SBP, policy measures undertaken by the government and SBP to encourage inflows through formal channels, limited cross border travel due to COVID-19, medical expenses and altruistic transfers to Pakistan amidst the pandemic, and orderly exchange market conditions contributed to this sustained rise in workers’ remittances.

Remittances continued exceptional performance as for the 9th consecutive month inflows of workers’ remittances were remained above $2 billion in February 2021. Overseas Pakistani workers remitted home remittances amounted to $2.266 billion in February 2021, around the same level of $2.27 billion of the previous month and some 24.2 percent higher than February 2020, in which the country received $ 1.824 billion home remittances.

The details analysis revealed that a large part of workers’ remittance inflow during Jul-Feb FY21 was arrived from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom (UK) and United States (US).

Inflows from Saudi Arab increased by 19.5 percent to $5.041 billion in July-Feb of FY21 compared to $4.219 billion in same period of last fiscal year. During the period under review, home remittances from USA and UK increased by 47 percent and 57 percent respectively. Pakistan received home remittances amounted to $1.618 billion from USA and some $2.529 billion from UK during the first eight months of this fiscal year.

Month on Month basis, the country wise details for the month of February 2021 shows that inflows from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, GCC countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman) and EU countries were amounted to $513 million, $468 million, $138 million, $174 million, $248 million and $133 million respectively. Remittances received from Malaysia, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries during February 2021 were amounted to $ 78 million together. With monthly average of $2.343 billion, remittances sent by overseas Pakistanis are likely to cross the $26 billion mark by the end of this fiscal year.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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