Remittances reach $2 billion for the 17th month in a row

KARACHI: Workers’ remittances remained over $2 billion in October 2021, as they had been for some months, owing to aggressive policy steps implemented by the government and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to encourage ex-pats to utilize legitimate money transfer channels.

Remittances sent home by abroad Pakistanis increased 10% year on year to $2.5 billion in October, according to figures provided by the central bank on Sunday.

Following COVID-19, the country witnessed a significant increase in worker remittances, as limitations on foreign travel to manage the epidemic encouraged abroad Pakistanis to send remittances via banking channels.

Previously, some non-resident Pakistanis used to transmit money via the country’s unlawful hundi-hawala route because they offered a higher exchange rate in Pakistani currency.

The central bank announced that inflows were down 6% month over month in September 2021 compared to September 2021.

Remittances totaled $10.6 billion in the first four months of the current fiscal year (July-October), up 12 percent from $9.42 billion in FY21.

“Sustained improvement in remittance inflows since last year has been favorably attributed to proactive policy initiatives by the government and SBP to incentivize the use of official channels,” the SBP stated.

It went on to say that altruistic transfers to Pakistan in the midst of the epidemic contributed to the support.

Remittances by country

Inflows from the United States of America (USA) surged by 30.8 percent to $231.8 million in October compared to the same month last year, according to country-level statistics. From the United Kingdom, they increased by 15.7 percent to $346.7 million (UK).

Inflows from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) increased by 3.9 percent to $455 million, while remittances from Saudi Arabia decreased by 1.2 percent to $655.4 million.

Furthermore, remittances from neighboring Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations climbed by 10.3% to $285.6 million, while inflows from European countries surged by 46.7 percent to $291.1 million in the month under review, compared to the same month last year.

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