KARACHI: Remittances from overseas Pakistanis during December 2020 rose by 16.2 per cent year-on-year to $2.436 billion, compared to $2.097bn in December 2019, clocking in above $2bn mark for the seventh consecutive month, according to the latest data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Friday.
Sharing the jump in remittances, Prime Minister Imran Khan said in a tweet: “I want to thank our overseas Pakistanis for yet another record-breaking month of remittances in December $2.4bn. MashaAllah, first time in Pakistan, remittances have been above $2bn for six consecutive months. Total for six months of this fiscal year [is] $14.2bn — a 24.9pc growth over last year.”
Inflows from GCC countries account for over 58pc of total amount in December
On a cumulative basis, inflows during six months of the current financial year have increased by 24.9pc to $14.2bn, compared to $11.372bn during the same period last year.
“Remittances from overseas Pakistanis rose further to $2.4bn in December 2020, up 16.2pc compared to December 2019 and up 4.2pc over November 2020. For the first six months of this fiscal year, remittances have reached $14.2bn and risen 24.9pc over last fiscal year,” the SBP said in a note accompanying the data.
Twenty-six per cent of the inflows in December came from Saudi Arabia with overseas Pakistanis based in the country sending home $624.8 million. Inflows from the kingdom have hovered around $600m every month since June 2020.
Inflows from the United Arab Emirates accounted for 21pc at $511.61m, followed by the United Kingdom with 13pc at $325m.
Moreover, inflows from the United States rose to $203.23m and from the European Union to $245.95m. However, inflows from other GCC countries declined to 278.7m in December 2020.
Remittances have been a saving grace for Pakistan ever since the pandemic spread around the world as inflows through formal channels have increased substantially due to travel restrictions.
Meanwhile, monthly inflows of more than $2bn have also helped the country book a current account surplus throughout the current fiscal year. During the July-Nov period, the country has posted a current account surplus of $1.64bn, compared to a deficit of $1.745bn during the same period last year.
On the other hand, inflows have also helped increase foreign exchange reserves held by the SBP which have now swelled to $13.41bn, compared to $10.10bn on July 12 at the start of the current fiscal year.
Published in Dawn, January 9th, 2021