KARACHI: The continuous growth in remittances shows no sign of slowing down as overseas Pakistani workers remitted $3.599 billion in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, a growth of 9.16% when compared with $3.297 billion received during the same period of previous fiscal year.
According to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Wednesday, the inflow of remittances in July-September 2012 from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, US, UK, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman) and EU countries amounted to $961.09 million, $753.08 million, $623.72 million, $500.15 million, $396.14 million and $97.05 million respectively.
In the same period of previous year, the inflow from these countries was $854.18 million, $746.62 million, $627.75 million, $369.36 million, $354.61 million and $101.73 million respectively.
Remittances from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries during the three months of financial year 2012-13 amounted to $267.88 million compared to $242.95 million received in the first quarter of the previous year.
Monthly average of remittances for the quarter stood at $1.199 billion compared to $1.099 billion in the previous year.
In September alone, Pakistanis working abroad sent $1.135 billion against $890.42 million in the same month of 2011, a growth of 27.52%.
In a press release, the SBP stressed that the continued growth in remittances was the result of efforts made by the Pakistan Remittance Initiative (PRI) in collaboration with other stakeholders to facilitate both overseas Pakistanis and their families back home.
The government through the SBP, Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Ministry of Finance launched PRI in April 2009, aimed at facilitating and supporting faster, cheaper, convenient and efficient flow of remittances.
Since its inception, PRI has taken a number of steps to enhance the flow of remittances through formal channels including preparation and implementation of strategies on remittances, playing an advisory role for the financial sector, relationship building with overseas correspondents, creating separate efficient remittance payment highways and becoming a national focal point for overseas Pakistanis through round-the-clock call centre, a separate website, etc.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2012.