Remittances keep rising, clock in 9.8% growth

Overseas Pakistanis send home $1.2 billion in July.

Our Correspondent August 13, 2012

KARACHI: Keeping in line with the stellar growth of the past few years, the remittances sent home by overseas Pakistanis rose 9.89% to $1.205 billion in July this year compared with $1.096 billion received in the same month of last fiscal year.

This comes in line with comments made by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Yaseen Anwar while unveiling the monetary policy last week, when he put the inflow of remittances at $1.2 billion in July.

“Apart from inflows from the US under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), the inflow of remittances is continuously improving owing to which I don’t think there is any problem for the foreign reserves of the country,” he replied when asked what he thought about the pressure on foreign reserves.

According to analysts, the foreign inflows in shape of remittances have been a helping hand for the country, especially at a time when it is feeling the pressure on its foreign exchange reserves.

The continuous rise in remittances has supported the rupee and stopped its further depreciation against the dollar. The rupee fell more than 8% in fiscal year 2011-12.

According to data released on Monday, the remittances received from most countries showed growth last month.

Remittances from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman) and European Union countries amounted to $349.66 million, $240.54 million, $215.30 million, $148.49 million, $140.36 million and $30.83 million respectively.

In comparison, the inflows were $291.83 million, $257.65 million, $194.87 million, $118.55 million, $116.45 million and $32.59 million respectively in July last year.

Remittances from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries stood at $79.53 million against $84.37 million in the same month of the previous fiscal year.

In a press release, the SBP attributed the continuous growth in worker remittances to the efforts made by the Pakistan Remittance Initiative in collaboration with other stakeholders to facilitate both overseas Pakistanis and their families back home.

Launched in April 2009, the Pakistan Remittance Initiative had been a joint effort of the SBP, Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Ministry of Finance in a bid to encourage overseas Pakistanis to use legal channels for sending money back home.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2012.