Noting a 17 percent increase in remittances, State Bank of Pakistan Wednesday said that Non-Resident Pakistanis have send home nearly $5.7 billion between July 2009 to February 2010. During the same period in previous fiscal year, Pakistanis living abroad had sent $4.9 billion.
For economies like Pakistan, funds repatriated by non-residents to family and friends back home, provide the most tangible link between migration and development. But September 11attacks, it has become increasingly difficult for Pakistanis to get work visas which had resulted in negative growth of remittances.
Analysts believe that latest increase is due to strict regulation of foreign exchange market. Majority of the informal money transfer and forex firms have changed their business practice or disappeared.
Analysts point out that since remittances are unilateral transfers they do not create liabilities. And they usually come with advice—from migrants who have seen better—on how to best use them. Thus, remittances are not simply money, but value-added money.
NRPs sent $588.78 million in February 2009 compared to $641.32 of February 2010, reports Dollars Magazine. The inflow of remittances in July-February, 2010 period from UAE, USA, Saudi Arabia, GCC countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman), UK and EU countries amounted to $1,317.17 million, $1,173.37 million, $1,148.86 million, $826.93 million, $596.26 million and $171.41 million respectively as compared to $1,035.55 million, $1,156.51 million, $962.30 million, $783.39 million, $344.08 million and $150.05 million respectively in the July-February, 2008-09 period.
Remittances received from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries during the first eight months of the current fiscal year amounted to $550.65 million as against $486.34 million in the same period last year. The monthly average remittances for the July-February 2010 period comes out to $723.36 million as compared to $614.83 million during the same period of last fiscal year, registering an increase of 17.65 percent.
During February 2010 remittances from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, GCC countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman), UK and EU countries amounted to $149.45 million, $136.88 million, $111.48 million, $89.21 million, $45.91 million and $13.48 million respectively as compared to $123.64 million, $166.62 million, $127.48 million, $93.09 million, $54.12 million and $18.31 million in February 2009. Remittances received from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries during February 2010 amounted to $41.13 million compared with $58.04 million in the same month of last year.
The true size, including unrecorded formal and informal flows, is believed to be significantly larger. Remittances total at least three times official development assistance and are the largest source of external financing.