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Pakistan receives record $2.7b in remittances in July, highest in its history

Waheed Abbas/Dubai
Filed on August 17, 2020 | Last updated on August 17, 2020 at 05.13 pm

(Reuters)

The remittances in July increased $302 million or 12.2 per cent over the previous month.

Overseas Pakistanis sent a record $2.768 billion (Dh10.15 billion) in remittances in July, an increase of 36.5 per cent or $740 million over the same month last year, according to the State Bank of Pakistan.

It was the highest ever recorded workers' remittances in a single month in the country's 74-year history. All the major source markets including the UK, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the other GCC countries witnessed an increase in remittances.

Central bank data showed that remittances from the UK grew from $299 million to $394 million in July; while remittances from Saudi Arabia increased from $471 million to $821.5 million; and from $427 million to $538 million in the UAE. Within the UAE, remittances from Dubai moved up from $277.2 million to $443 million but fell in Abu Dhabi from $145.3 million to $88.3 million. Remittance flow from the US also shrank, falling from $322 million to $250.6 million

The remittances in July increased $302 million or 12.2 per cent over the previous month.

In 2019-20, Pakistan received record $23.12 billion remittances, an increase of 6.4 per cent over previous year.

The increased flow for July is mainly attributed to Eid Al Adha, which was celebrated on July 31, as well as government initiatives to attract more foreign direct investment into the country, especially in the real estate sector to give fillip to the economy. The government has invited overseas Pakistanis to invest in key sector and they will not be required to reveal their source of income till the end of 2020.

Several other factors have also supported the growth in remittances to-date, including orderly exchange rate conditions and policy steps taken by the government under the Pakistan Remittance Initiative. These steps include reducing the threshold for eligible transactions from $200 to $100 under the Reimbursement of Telegraphic Transfer (TT) Charges Scheme, an increased push towards adoption of digital channels, and targeted marketing campaigns to promote formal channels for sending remittances.

"July's strong yearly growth rate is around twice as high as the Eid Al Adha related seasonality typically experienced over the last decade, suggesting other factors are at play. Since the global outbreak of Coronavirus in February 2020, remittances have increased by 14.3 per cent compared to the same period last year," the State Bank of Pakistan said on Monday.

"Given the impact of Covid-19 globally, this increase in workers' remittances is encouraging. Increased incentives from the State Bank and Government of Pakistan to send remittances through official channels has supported remittances growth," said the central bank.

waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com


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