Remittances decline 8pc in July-August

Updated September 14, 2019

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The SBP revealed remittances from almost all of the important destinations declined during July-August.
The SBP revealed remittances from almost all of the important destinations declined during July-August.

KARACHI: Remittances sent by overseas Pakistanis fell 8.38 per cent in the first two months of current fiscal year compared to 15.3pc growth noted in the same period last year.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said the decline reflected the usual one-off post Eidul Azha effect. Overseas Pakistanis remit $1.69 billion in August as compared to $2.03bn in July; a month-on-month decline of $348.4 million.

On the other hand, cumulative figures showed that the country received $3.73bn in July-August compared to $4.07bn in the same period last fiscal year; a decline of $340m.

The biggest decline in the remittances came from the United Arab Emirates as it fell by 15.6pc to $775.84m.

Remittances from almost all of the important destinations declined during the two months under review compared to the same period last fiscal year. Also, remittances from Saudi Arabia declined by 6pc to $848.5m during the two months under review.

United States was the only important destination that showed positive growth of 1.2pc as remittances rose to $629.79m during the two months of the current fiscal. On the other hand, remittances during July-August, 2018 had jumped by 33 per cent.

Remittances from UK also declined by 7.4pc to $549.47m during the period compared to 33.5pc growth in the first two months of last fiscal year.

However, remittances from Gulf Cooperative Council countries declined by 9.13pc to $356.66m whereas those from Malaysia slightly decreased by 2pc to $283.5m.

Explaining the decline in remittances, Secretary General Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan Zafar Paracha said, “the post-Eid effect has significance but the prime reason could be the devaluation of local currency. During a year over 40pc devaluation allowed the remitters to send lesser amount of dollars as they get more local currency against smaller amount of foreign currencies.”

The SBP in the press release accompanying the remittance figures said the decline was a reflection of post Eidul Azha effect.

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2019