Pakistanis heard a few good news in recent days that include all-time high record of foreign exchange reserves, Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) benchmark index made a record, local cars sales touched peak, and there is one more that remittances in Pakistan increased to an all-time high level to almost touch $20 billion in the closing financial year of 2015-16.
According to statistics of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), expatriate Pakistanis remitted $19.9 billion in 2015-16, showing a growth of 6.38% ($1.2 billion) compared with $18.7 billion received during 2014-15.
The consistent growth in remittance inflows in Pakistan kept Pakistan among the top ten countries in terms of inflows in the world through their nationals settled in other countries mainly for the purpose of professional and business engagements.
Also, the growth in remittance inflows were seen due to improvement in the system of banking channels which provide quick and free money transfer services to overseas Pakistanis.
World Bank reports on Migration and Remittances mentioned Pakistan as top ten countries in the world with highest inflows of remittances. It included Pakistan’s name on the seventh place on its list updated for the year of 2015.
The top ten countries are India with $72.2 billion, China with $63.9 billion, Philippines with $29.7 billion, Mexico with $25.7 billion, Nigeria with $20.8 billion, Egypt with $20.4 billion, Pakistan with $20.1 billion, Bangladesh with $15.8 billion, Vietnam with $12.3 billion and Indonesia with $10.5 billion.
Despite lower oil prices in the international market having taken toll on the economy of oil producing countries, the remittances from these countries were witnessed positive growth.
Pakistan continued to be an attractive labor market for the manpower importing countries and has a great potential to export high quality human resources i.e. well qualified, highly skilled, skilled and un-skilled workers as well as professionals and experts in different fields.
However, the number of well-qualified professionals is limited to few countries against semi-skilled workers hence the values of remittances are comparatively lower than countries like Mexico, Egypt and Nigeria.
Breakdown By Month
The months of November in 2015 and June in 2016 saw significant growth in the inflows of remittances from different countries mainly on the account of last year’s Eidul Azha and the recent Eidul Fitr.
In November, remittance amounting to Rs 1.56 billion received from expatriate Pakistan showing yearly growth of 16 percent. In July 2016, the country received the highest ever monthly remittance of $2 billion with yearly growth of 13 percent.
On these two religious occasions, overseas Pakistani usually send increased money to their families including for the purpose of performing religious obligations such as sacrifice of animal on Eidul Azha and Zakat and Fitra on Eidul Fitr.