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December 11, 2019

Workers’ remittances flat in July-November


December 11, 2019

KARACHI: Overseas Pakistanis working abroad sent home $9.298 billion in the first five months of the current fiscal year, up only 0.18 percent from a year earlier, the central bank’s data showed on Tuesday.

Remittances stood at $9.281 billion in the corresponding period of last year. In November, the inflow of workers’ remittances amounted to $1.819 billion, which is 9.05 percent lower than previous month and 9.35 percent higher than the same month last year.

Remittance flows from the major source countries remained stagnant in the period under review. The SBP’s data also showed that Pakistani workers living in Saudi Arabia sent home $2.145 billion in July-November fiscal year 2019/20, compared with $2.152 billion sent in the corresponding period of the last fiscal.

Remittances from the United Arab Emirates fell 3.77 percent to $1.921 billion in July-November. However, the country attracted $1.532 billion in remittances from the United States of America in July-November, compared with $1.456 billion last year.

Remittances from the United Kingdom stood at $1.428 billion in the first five months of this fiscal year. That compared with $1.379 billion in the same period last year.

Pakistani workers living in other Gulf Cooperation Council countries sent home $883 million remittances, which were 0.24 percent lower when compared to last year. Analysts said the growth in remittances stayed flat. However, it was likely to accelerate in coming months due to incentives unveiled by the government and the central bank for the banks and the foreign remitters.

The SBP has revised the transaction limit for reimbursement of TT charges against remittances in an effort to facilitate banks. The central bank announced the reimbursement of Saudi Riyal (SAR 10) on remittance transaction equal to and above $100 but less than $200.

Under the Pakistan Remittance Initiative, banks and exchange companies are encouraged to undertake marketing campaigns for attracting the workers’ remittances. Moreover, the government facilitated the recipients by exempting from withholding tax any cash withdrawals from rupee accounts that were solely fed by foreign remittances.

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