KARACHI: 

Overseas Pakistanis sent remittances amounting to $14.9 billion in the first 10 months of 2014-15, which translates into a year-on-year increase of 16%, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Monday.

Remittances amounted to $12.9 billion over the same 10-month period of the preceding fiscal year.

Pakistanis based in foreign countries sent home $1.3 billion in April, which is 16.8% less than the remittances received in the preceding month of March.

Inflows from Saudi Arabia were the largest source of remittances in the first 10 months of 2014-15. They amounted to over $4.5 billion in July-April, up 19.9% from the same 10 months of 2013-14.

Remittances received in July-April from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) increased 34.1% to $3.3 billion on a year-on-year basis. Inflows from the UAE registered the largest increase from any major remittance-sending country during the last 10 months, SBP data shows.

Remittances from the United States and the United Kingdom remained $2.1 billion and $1.8 billion, respectively, in July-April. The year-on-year increase in remittances from the US and the UK has been 3.8% and 2.6%, respectively.

Remittances from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, excluding Saudi Arabia and the UAE, clocked up at $1.7 billion in July-April, which is 14.6% higher than the remittances received from these countries in the same period of the preceding fiscal year.

Remittances from Kuwait in the first 10 months of 2014-15 equalled $617.3 million while those from Oman, Bahrain and Qatar amounted to $542.5 million, $308.3 million and $283 million, respectively.

Remittances received from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and ‘other countries’ in April amounted to $99.43 million as opposed to $84.53 million received in the same month of the preceding year.

In the last fiscal year, overseas Pakistanis sent home $15.8 billion, which was 13.7% higher than the remittances of $13.9 billion received in 2012-13. The monthly average of remittances during the first 10 months of 2014-15 remained $1.49 billion, which was up 16% from the monthly average of remittances amounting to $1.28 billion received in July-April of 2013-14.

Remittances in the first six months of the current fiscal year increased regardless of the strong wave of political instability that began in August with sit-ins by opposition parties and fizzled out after the attack on Army Public School in December.

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