KARACHI: Overseas Pakistanis sent home remittances amounting to $11.2 billion in July-January 2015-16, which translates into a year-on-year increase of 5.98%, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Wednesday.
Remittances amounted to $10.5 billion in the same seven months of the preceding fiscal year. They were almost $1.46 billion in December alone, which is 10.6% less than the remittances received in the preceding month, SBP data shows.
Pakistanis based in foreign countries sent home $18.4 billion in 2014-15, which translated into a year-on-year increase of 16.5%.
Inflows from Saudi Arabia were the largest source of remittances in the Jul-Jan period. These stood at $3.35 billion in the seven months, up 8.23% from the corresponding period of previous year.
Remittances from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) increased 9.24% to $2.48 billion on a year-on-year basis. Inflows from the UAE had registered the largest increase of 26.1% from any major remittance-sending country in 2014-15, SBP data shows.
In the first seven months of the current fiscal year, remittances from Dubai surged 39.71% year-on-year. But the figure for overall inflows from the UAE so far has remained subdued because of a 25.52% annual decline in remittances from Abu Dhabi over the same period.
Remittances from the United States and the United Kingdom were $1.52 billion and $1.42 billion, respectively, from July to January. The year-on-year change in remittances from the US and the UK was -4.97% and 2.42%, respectively.
Remittances from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, excluding Saudi Arabia and the UAE, stood at $1.36 billion in Jul-Jan, which is 12.47% higher than the remittances received from these countries in the same months of the preceding fiscal year.
Remittances from Oman in Jul-Jan equalled $458.7 million while those from Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar amounted to $426.24 million, $268.43 million and $210.77 million, respectively.
This means the overall share of the oil-rich GCC countries in Pakistan’s remittances is over 64.37%. Many analysts fear remittances from these countries may dwindle going forward, as their governments begin to scale back infrastructure spending in the wake of a sharp fall in global oil prices.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 11th, 2016.