Remittance inflows to Pakistan again hit $2 billion mark in February as overseas workers remitted more money following a sharp depreciation in the rupee’s value against the US dollar, latest data shows.
The remittances, which dropped below $2 billion in January, rose 4.9 per cent month-on-month basis but dropped 9.5 per cent year-on-year basis last month, according to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
In a statement on Friday, the central bank said overseas workers remitted $18 billion during the first eight months of financial year 2022-23.
The remittances dropped 10.8 per cent during July-February period compared to the same period last year, the central bank said.
In February, Pakistani workers in Saudi Arabia and the UAE remitted $454.6 million and $324 million, respectively. Overseas Pakistanis in United Kingdon and the US remitted $317 million and $219.4 million, respectively.
Analysts and bankers attributed the increase in remittances to sharp depreciation in the Pak rupee after the government ended its control over the rupee-dollar exchange rate in January. Until January 24, the rupee hovered at around 225-230 against the US dollar but then hit all-time low of 285.09 on March 2.
On Friday, the rupee recovered 0.54 per cent against the US dollar in the interbank market to 280.77 compared to 282.3 a day earlier, according to SBP.
Experts said remittance inflows are likely to pick up in the coming months as overseas Pakistanis are expected to remit higher amounts ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, Eid and summer vacations.
“Historical trends suggest that remittances usually increase before Ramadan and Eid festivals,” according to a forex trader.
The country is expected to receive up to $27 billion remittances during financial year 2022-23 ending on June 30, considering the inflows average around $2.2-2.3 billion in each of the four remaining months. It received $30 billion remittances in the previous fiscal year of 2021-22.
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