Remittances to Pakistan from the country’s diaspora stayed above $2 billion for the 10th consecutive month in March 2021, reaching $2.7 billion, up by 43 per cent when compared to same month last year.
The country’s central bank said on Monday that remittances grew 20 per cent month-on-month in March.
Cumulatively, remittances have risen to $21.5 billion during July-March 2021 fiscal year, up by 26 per cent over the same period of 2020 fiscal year, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Monday.
Saudi Arabia was the main source of remittances to Pakistan at $5.7 billion, followed by the UAE ($4.5 billion), the UK ($2.9 billion) and the USA ($1.9 billion).
The central bank said that proactive policy measures by the government and SBP to encourage more inflows through formal channels, limited cross border travel in the face of the Covid-19, introduction of Roshan Digital Accounts (RDAs) are contributing to the sustained rise in remittances.
Roshan Digital Account was launched by the central bank in cooperation with eight banks of the country to attract more remittances in order to boost foreign exchange reserves.
Dr. Murtaza Syed, deputy governor of State Bank of Pakistan, said so far 113,000 accounts have been opened from over 100 countries.
“Almost 600-700 accounts are being opened on daily basis. Daily remittances from these accounts are $6-$7 million, totaling around $ 800 million through these accounts,” he said.
Mohsin Ali Nathani, president and CEO of Habib Metro Bank, said that over 25 per cent of RDAs and 35 per cent of remittance flows are from the UAE, making the Emirates one of the top locations for Roshan Digital Accounts.
Afzaal Mahmood, Ambassador of Pakistan to UAE, said it is heartening to know 1.6 million Pakistanis in the UAE have taken the lead in opening Roshan Digital Accounts.
“It is a win-win situation for both, Pakistan and Pakistani community abroad. Roshan Digital Account connects the community with Pakistani banking and they are able to send remittances from the comfort of their homes,” said Mahmood.