Remittances surge by a whopping 28pc in Oct 2017

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KARACHI: Overseas Pakistani workers remitted $ 6.444 billion in the first four months (July to October) of 2017-18 up by 2.2 per cent, compared with $ 6.301 billion received during the same period in the preceding year.

During October 2017, the inflow of worker’s remittances amounted to $ 1.654 billion, which is 27.87 per cent higher than September 2017 and 5.99 per cent higher than October 2016.

Profit recently reported that the recent drop in remittances by almost a third has been attributed to the “HBL saga” as per a research report. It was earlier being speculated that the exorbitant month on month decline in September’s numbers was due to what is commonly known as the seasonal Eid affect.

Remittance inflow for September was recorded at $ 1,294 million, lowest since February 2016. Country-wise examination revealed, the highest drop came from Saudi Arabia at a massive 40 per cent month-on-month basis. Only $ 308 million was remitted from Saudi Arabia in September 2017, lowest since November 2012.

It was reported that after HBL was fined by the American authorities, the bank decided to cut all ties with Al-Rajhi Bank, a Saudi based bank, taking a toll on remittances from Saudi Arabia.

It was also noted that despite low levels of remittances and speculations surrounding the HBL saga, the collaboration between SBP and Ministry of Finance, have a host of initiatives planned to boost remittances.

The country wise details for the month of October 2017 show that inflows from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, GCC countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman) and EU countries amounted to $ 461.07 million, $ 333.57 million, $ 215.64 million, $ 270.46 million, $ 184.76 million and $ 51.12 million respectively compared with the inflow of $ 470.19 million, $ 358.38 million, $ 183.26 million, $ 173.4 million, $ 183.13 million and $ 35.36 million respectively in October 2016.

Remittances received from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries during October 2017 amounted to $ 137.83 million together as against $ 157.30 million received in October 2016.

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