Pakistan receives record $29.4 billion remittances in 2021

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Dubai - Workers’ remittances hit $2b plus mark for 13th consecutive month in June, 2021.


Muzaffar Rizvi

Published: Thu 15 Jul 2021, 6:45 AM

Last updated: Thu 15 Jul 2021, 6:47 AM

Pakistan received record $29.4 billion remittances during the financial year 2020-21 as non-resident Pakistanis continued to send over $2 billion foreign exchange for the 13th consecutive month in June, latest data shows.

State Bank of Pakistan, the central bank, said workers' remittances registered a substantial $6.24 billion, or  27 per cent year-on-year growth, improving the country’s external sector position despite the challenging global economic conditions.

"This is the fastest growth in remittances since the financial year 2002-03," the central bank said.

Pakistan received $23 billion in remittances during the financial year 2019-20. The government has set $31 billion in remittances for the present fiscal year of 2021-22. (Check out the latest gold/forex rates in UAE)

Saudi, UAE lead

Overseas Pakistanis residing in the UAE and Saudi Arabia continued to play the lead role as they remitted a record $13.77 billion during July-June 2021 compared to $12.22 billion in the corresponding fiscal period, reflecting a strong 12.68 per cent growth despite difficult times in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Non-resident Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia remitted $7.66 billion in 2020-21 as against $6.61 billion in 2019-20, showing an increase of 16 per cent. Overseas Pakis­tanis residing in the UAE sent $6.11 billion during the fiscal year 2020-21 compared to $5.61 billion in 2019-20, reflecting an increase of 8.9 per cent.

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"Overall, record-high inflows of workers’ remittances during 2020-21 have been driven by proactive policy measures by the Government and SBP to incentivise the use of formal channels, curtailed cross-border travel in the face of Covid-19 infections, altruistic transfers to Pakistan amid the pandemic, and orderly foreign exchange market conditions," the central bank said.

Mideast dominates

The inflows from other GCC countries noted an inflow of $3.31 billion while the growth was 13.7 per cent in 2020-21 against the growth of 37 per cent in the preceding year, according to the SBP data.

The total inflows from the Middle East during 2020-21 were $17.09 billion, accounting for 58.1 per cent of the total remittances sent by overseas Pakistanis during the year.

"Remittances climbing to $29.37 billion in the financial year 2020-21, up 27 per cent with such high base. Clearly shows the convenience built by digital banking, confidence in the economy, and better investment avenues in Pakistan," Muzammil Aslam, chief executive of Tangent Capital Advisors, tweeted.

UK, US pick up

In addition to the Middle East and Gulf region, the United Kingdom ($4.1 billion), and the United States ($2.7 billion) also emerged as major contributors to the remittances in 2020-21, reflecting year-on-year growth of 58 per cent despite the pandemic.

The inflows from EU countries remained strong as the remittances reached $2.709 billion during 2020-21 compared to $1.778 billion in the previous fiscal, showing a growth of 52.3 per cent.

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