Pakistan on track to receive $32bln remittances in 2022

Overseas Pakistanis remit $15.8bln during July-December 2021 period

  
A trader counts Pakistani rupee notes at a currency exchange booth in Peshawar, Pakistan December 3, 2018. Image used for illustrative purpose.

A trader counts Pakistani rupee notes at a currency exchange booth in Peshawar, Pakistan December 3, 2018. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz

Pakistan is on track to achieve a record $32 billion in remittance inflows in the current fiscal year 2021-22 as over nine million overseas workers remitted $15.8 billion during the first half ended on December 31, 2021.

The latest data released by the central bank, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), showed that non-resident Pakistanis sent 11.3 per cent more money back home during the July-December period compared to the same period last year.

"With $2.5 billion of inflows during December 2021, workers' remittances continued their strong impetus of remaining above $2 billion since June 2020. In terms of growth, remittances increased by 2.5 per cent month-on-month basis and 3.4 per cent year-on-year basis in December 2021," according to the central bank.

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 for the current fiscal year of 2021-22. Pakistan received record $29.4 billion remittances during 2020-21 compared to the $23 billion received during 2019-20.

UAE, Saudi expats lead

Overseas Pakistanis residing in the UAE and Saudi Arabia contributed a significant share in total remittances as they sent $3 billion and $4.03 billion, respectively, during the first half of 2021-22.

Non-resident Pakistanis in the UAE remitted $453.2 million in December, while workers in Saudi Arabia sent $626.6 million, according to the central bank data.

United Kingdom ($340.8 million) and the United States of America ($248.5 million) were other significant contributors to the remittances in December.

"Proactive policy measures by the government and SBP to incentivise the use of formal channels and altruistic transfers to Pakistan amid the pandemic have positively contributed towards the sustained inflows of remittances since last year," SBP said in a statement.

The central bank further clarified that the July-November data of workers’ remittances have been revised upward to reflect inflows into Roshan Digital Accounts (RDA) that are related to local consumption such as payment of utility bills, transfer to local Pak rupee account, etc. "Since data on these conversions was not previously available by country, these were reported under ‘other private transfers’ in the balance of payments statistics. The December 2021 data is also compiled accordingly, and this treatment will be followed going forward," the central bank statement said.

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