ISLAMABAD: Remittances sent back home by overseas Pakistanis in August 2020 continued on an uptrend from July’s record figure of $2.77 billion, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Monday.
The remittances for August 2020 were $2.10 billion, translating into a 24.4% rise as compared to the same period, last year. This was “in addition to the record $2,768 million in July 2020”, PM Imran said on Twitter.
Overseas Pakistanis sent $2,095 million in remittances in Aug 2020 — 24.4% higher than Aug. last year — in addition to the record $2,768 million in July 2020. For the first two months of this fiscal year our remittances are up 31% over the same period last year. Alhamdulillah
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) September 14, 2020
“For the first two months of this fiscal year our remittances are up 31% over the same period last year,” he added.
Separately, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in a press release stated that “workers’ remittances remained above $2 billion for the third month in a row” during August 2020, “largely in line” with its projections.
24.3% lower m/m than July level
“Over the last three months, remittances reached an unprecedented level of $7.3 billion, 37.2% higher than the same period last year,” it said, noting that the top three countries from which remittances originated in August were Saudi Arabia ($0.593 billion), the United Arab Emirates ($0.410 billion), and the United Kingdom ($0.302 billion).
The central bank attributed the rise to the efforts made under the Pakistan Remittances Initiative (PRI) and the gradual reopening of businesses in major host countries such as the United States, as well as others in the Middle East and Europe.
However, it underlined that on a month-on-month basis, remittances were 24.3% lower than the record level in July 2020, “reflecting the usual seasonal decline in the post Eid-al-Adha period”.
Digital banking for Pakistani diaspora
Back in August, PM Imran had shared the record statistics, terming them “more good news” for Pakistan’s economy. Prior to that, he had appreciated overseas Pakistanis for sending more remittances through banking channels.
A day prior to that, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis, Sayed Zulfiqar Bukhari, had announced that the government has decided to provide a digital banking facility to the expatriates.
“Overseas Pakistanis will be able to make direct payments and investments in the country,” the premier’s aide had said, adding that the initiative would be a great investment opportunity for the Pakistani community living abroad.
Digital banking was a longstanding demand of the Pakistani diaspora, Bukhari had said, noting that the overseas Pakistani community wanted to become important stakeholders in the national development of the country.