KARACHI: Workers’ remittances registered a sharp growth of 29.4 percent to $26.7 billion during the first 11 months (July–May) of 2020/21, owing to a rise in the transfers through formal channels, the central bank said on Thursday.
Overseas Pakistanis sent home $26.7 billion during July-May 2020/21, compared with $20.66 billion in the same period of the last fiscal year.
The State Bank of Pakistan said the remittances during the first 11 months of the current fiscal year had already crossed the 2019/20 level by $3.6 billion.
It attributed the record-high inflows of workers’ remittances during the outgoing fiscal year to the proactive policy measures taken by the government and the central bank to incentivize the use of formal channels, curtailed cross-border travel in the face of Covid-19, and altruistic transfers to Pakistan amid the pandemic, and orderly foreign exchange market conditions.
The State Bank said remittances continued their exceptional streak in May 2021, remaining above $2 billion for a record 12th straight month.
Remittances received during May 2021 amounted to $2.5 billion, 33.5 percent higher than the same month last year. These were also higher than the monthly average of $2.4 billion during July-April of the current fiscal year.
On a month-on-month basis, remittances fell 10.4 percent in May 2021, compared with April 2021. This fall was expected, as remittances usually slowed down in the post-Eid-ul-Fitr period. As Eid fell in mid-May 2021 with markets closed a week earlier, there was some front-loading of remittances in April 2021.
However, the seasonal decline in May 2021 was less than half the average decline observed during FY2016/19. In FY20, the remittances experienced an exceptional rise due to the easing of Covid-related lockdowns in the post-Eid period in the Gulf countries.
Overseas Pakistanis Remittance inflows during July-May FY21 were mainly sourced from Saudi Arabia ($7 billion), the United Arab Emirates ($5.6 billion), United Kingdom ($3.7 billion) and United States ($2.5 billion).