Overseas Pakistanis continued to remit record money back home as the workers’ remittances stayed above $2 billion for a record 22nd consecutive month in March as the country received $2.8 billion remittances, the highest ever in a month.

The latest data release by the State Bank of Pakistan, the central bank, showed that remittance inflows rose 3.2 per cent year-on-year basis and 28.3 per cent month-on-month basis in March. Cumulatively, the country received $23 billion remittances during the first nine months of ongoing financial year 2021-22, reflecting an increase of 7.1 per cent.

Analysts and market insider said the country is on track to receive up to $31 billion remittances during the current financial year, ending on June 30. Pakistan received record $29.4 billion remittances during 2020-21 compared to the $23 billion received during 2019-20.

Overseas Pakistanis residing in Saudi Arabia and the UAE continued to remit the highest amount as they sent $678 million and $515 million last month, respectively. It reflects a month-on-month growth of 21.42 per cent and 33.23 per cent from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, respectively.

The United Kingdom and the United States also joined the top remitting countries as overseas workers remitted $401 million and $300 million, respectively. It shows 25.62 month-on-month growth from the UK.

The remittance inflows increased 31.3 to $343.1 million from other GCC countries (Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar) compared to $261.3 billion in the previous month.

Pakistan economy has received much-needed support and relief through a consistent upward remittances trend since June 2020. The government expects $31 billion in remittances to boost foreign exchange reserves and bridge the widening gap of current account deficit.

Samiullah Tariq, head of research at Pakistan Kuwait Investment, said the country is likely to meet the $31 billion remittances target this year.

“Remittance inflows sustained an upward momentum ahead of holy month of Ramadan. Over nine million overseas Pakistanis usually remitted higher amount in Ramadan for Eid, zakat and other welfare spending in the country,” Tariq told Khaleej Times on Thursday.

“Non-resident Pakistanis send more money to their homes which is evident from 28 per cent month-on-month growth in March,” he added.

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