KARACHI: Traders have offered mixed views about the share of remittances sent by overseas Pakistani workers in the purchase of sacrificial animals ahead of Eidul Azha.

Some traders said it is 10 per cent of the total market volume while others believed it holds a share of more than 10pc.

All Karachi Tajir Ittehad (AKTI) President Atiq Mir believes the share of remittances being used to buy sacrificial animals is 10pc of the total animal sales in the country.

He said most overseas Pakistanis who are based in the Gulf region try to slaughter animals in their country of residence. However, expatriates living in non-Arab countries prefer to send money to their families in Pakistan to buy sacrificial animals.

According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), remittances in August were 32.6pc higher than the inflows recorded in July. In July-August, remittances amounted to $3.09 billion, showing 3pc decline over the same period of 2015.

A US-based Pakistani citizen, who asked not to be named, said people living in the western countries send money to their close relatives in Pakistan for the purchase of animals before Eidul Azha every year. Goat prices are double in the United States compared to Pakistan, he said. A normal size goat costs at least $400 in the United States, but it sells in the range of Rs15,000 and Rs25,000 in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, around 180,000 cows/buffalo had arrived in the cattle market on Super Highway followed by 80,000 goats and 3,800 camels, according to the spokesman for the cattle market, Naveed Baig.

He added that the number of animals arrived in the cattle market this year was more or less unchanged from the last year.

As many as three cows and two goats can be seen in front of many two-storey, 120-square yards houses. Similarly, three to four big cows and an equal number of goats can be witnessed in front of many two-storey, 400-square yards.

This suggests these households are getting money from overseas family members.

Published in Dawn September 13th, 2016

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