Overseas Pakistani workers remitted more than $1 billion to the country in the month of March. Transfers by Pakistanis living abroad touched the historic peak of $1.05 billion in March, having risen more than 38 per cent since March 2010, when remittances amounted $763.72 million.
The previous high for a single month was recorded in August 2010, when overseas Pakistanis sent home $933.06 million.
Remittances to the country have been on the rise over the recent months, assisted by joint efforts of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and two federal ministries, “to facilitate the flow of remittances through formal channels”, asserted SBP spokesperson Syed Wasimuddin.
In the first nine months of the current fiscal year, $8.02 billion have been remitted to the country by Pakistanis living abroad, up by over 22 per cent compared with $6.55 billion remitted in corresponding period of fiscal 2010.
In the annual plan for fiscal 2011, SBP had set a target of $9 billion for remittances. However, growth in the transfers of funds has outpaced this target, with more than $8 billion already sent to the country.
Monthly average remittances in the July-March period come out to $890.68 million compared with $727.87 million during the same corresponding period of the last fiscal year, registering an increase of 22.37 per cent.
SBP data also shows that remittances have increased from most countries, where significant transfers have been destined for Pakistan. The central bank has expressed confidence in the Pakistan Remittance Initiative (PRI) undertaken with the ministry of finance and the ministry of overseas Pakistanis, and forecasted that remittances may touch $11 billion by the end of the current fiscal year.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2011.