KARACHI: Against the general fear that remittances would fall due to the pandemic, inflows from overseas Pakistanis instead witnessed an increase of 4.64 per cent month-on-month in May. Inflows in May rose to $1.873 billion, as against $1.790bn in April, registering an increase of $83 million in a month.

During 11MFY20, the country received $20.645bn, higher by 2.7pc over $20.103bn in the same period of last fiscal year.

The world Bank estimates that Pakistan could see up to a 20pc decline in remittances next year as the impact of pandemic further weighs in.

Highest inflow came from Saudi Arabia with an amount of $4.813bn during 11MFY20; edging up 3pc over $4.669bn in the corresponding period of 2018-19.

The trend from the United Arab Emirates and Great Britain was more disappointing with remittances posting a decline. The UAE, which is the second most important country in terms of worker inflows, sent

$4.229bn during July-May, drifting lower by 0.75pc over $4.261bn in the corresponding period of 2018-19.

Similarly, remittances from the United Kingdom fell by 2.47pc to $3.066bn in 11MFY20, from $3,143bn during the same period last year. On the other hand, inflows from the United States jumped by 22pc to $3.71bn during the period, up from $3.042bn.

Remittances from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries also noted a decline of 1pc to $1.9934bn while those from Malaysia dipped by 7pc to $1.336bn.

The SBP data show that 15 of the 29 countries mentioned witnessed a decrease in remittances during 11MFY20.

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2020