KARACHI: Due to initiatives implemented by the government and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to encourage the use of legitimate channels to send money home, remittances sent home by abroad Pakistanis increased 10.2 percent year on year (YOY) in October 2021 to $2.5 billion. The inflow of remittances was $2.3 billion in the same month last year, according to figures issued by the SBP on Sunday.
“In addition to remaining above $2 billion since June 2020, remittances have been close to or above $2.5 billion for the eighth consecutive month,” SBP stated in a statement.
“The government and SBP’s proactive policy actions to encourage the use of official channels and philanthropic transfers to Pakistan during the epidemic have favourably contributed to the steady improvement in remittance inflows since last year,” says the report.
Inflows, however, fell 5.7 percent month over month, to $2.67 billion in September 2021, from $2.67 billion in August 2021. Ismail Iqbal Securities Head of Research Fahad Rauf told the remittance trend has been strong for the previous several months.
“While regional countries witnessed a drop in remittance inflows in the last few months, Pakistan recorded a sustained uptrend in receipts,” he enthused, adding that the current number was encouraging for economic managers of Pakistan.
Speaking about the month-on-month decline, he pointed out that a slowdown in growth was being witnessed due to resumption of cross border travel in the world. However, he held firm hope that Pakistan would record receipt of $30 billion from overseas Pakistanis in full fiscal year 2021-22.
Echoing his views, Pak-Kuwait Investment Company (PKIC) Head of Research Samiullah Tariq stated that the month-on-month decrease was a seasonal phenomenon and increase in number of foreign flights had capped remittance flow.
During the first four months of the ongoing fiscal year (July-October 2021), remittances rose 11.9% to $10.6 billion on a year-on-year basis. The country had received $9.4 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal year.
According to the SBP, Pakistanis based in Saudi Arabia sent the largest number of remittances at $655.4 million in October 2021, which was 3.25% higher than $634.8 million received in the same month last year.
The amount sent home by expatriates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) registered a decrease of 10% to $456 million in October 2021. Inflows from the Middle Eastern nation had amounted to $504.1 million in the same month last year.
Pakistanis in United Kingdom managed to send $346.7 million home in the month under review compared to $278.5 million in the same month last year, an increase of 24.5%. Remittances sent home by overseas Pakistanis residing in the United States climbed 26.4% last month as they amounted to $231.8 million against $183.3 million in the same month last year.
Receipts from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries other than Saudi Arabia and UAE inched up 4.7% to $285.6 million. The amount received from the region had stood at $272.8 million last year. Pakistanis in the European Union (EU) sent 43% higher remittances in October 2021 as the inflows amounted to $291.1 million against 203.2 million in October 2020.