KARACHI: Remittances sent by overseas Pakistanis rose four per cent to $14.2 billion in July-March 2015-16, though the amount of inflows dropped during the last month.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported on Tuesday that remittances declined 8.7pc to $1.468bn in March from $1.608bn during the same month last year. Compared to February, the remittances fell by 3.14pc.
During July-March, the highest amount of $4.33bn was sent from Saudi Arabia, indicating a growth of 7pc against a growth of 19pc during the same period of last fiscal year.
The second highest amount of $3.12bn came from the United States of Emirates (UAE), which showed a growth of 3pc compared to the same period a year ago.
Remittances from the United States fell by 6pc to $1.88bn, whereas inflows from the United Kingdom were flat at $1.75bn.
Though the overall nine-month growth was 4pc, the fall in March could be alarming for Pakistan since the country’s dependence on remittances for its huge external imbalances has been increasing.
This year the country could fetch up to $20bn through the remittances which will help the country to meet the large trade gap due to unchecked imports and unmanaged falling exports. In its recently issued second quarterly report, the SBP expressed concerns over falling exports. The shrinking exports proceeds put the country in more critical position and its dependence on remittances increased.
There was no reason offered to understand the falling remittances. There are also fears that Pakistanis working in the Middle East countries may lose jobs due to unstable political situation as the massive fall in oil prices have drastically cut their income.