Higher remittances by overseas Pakistanis


Overseas Pakistanis sent higher remittances that surpassed $12.7 billion in the first 11 months (July-May) of the current fiscal year 12-13.

The high inflow of foreign exchange under this head enabled the country to adhere to IMF’s repayment schedule and neutralise partially the impact of growing trade imbalance.

The 10-month official data showed that the balance of trade was minus $13.1bn as imports rose to $39.4bn while exports stood at $26.2bn.

The massive inflow of remittances contained the current account deficit which was just $1.4bn for the 10 months of this year. However, sharp fall in the foreign exchange reserves generated fears of default.

The new government, which took over recently, has been advised by experts to initiate dialogue with the IMF for fresh loans.

Reports suggested that the government may initiate talks with the IMF soon.

The State Bank said that remittances grew by 5.7pc or by $693m during the 11 months compared to the same period last year.

Overseas workers sent almost the same ($1.192bn) amount in May as during the same month last year.

However, the monthly average of remittances was better than last year.

The State Bank reported that the monthly average of July-May was $1.160bn while last year during the same period, the average was $1.097bn.

The government may have to face negative impact of the possible deportation of thousands of Pakistanis from Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi government has started sending back thousands of those foreigners who have no sufficient or legal documents as part of their drive against illegal immigrants.

Media reports suggested that some 30,000 Pakistanis might be sent back to home which would certainly hit remittances next year as highest amount is remitted from Saudi Arabia.

This year, Pakistanis living in Saudi Arabia have so far sent $3.751bn, even higher than last year.

Currency experts see grave impact of possible expulsion of Pakistanis from Saudi Arabia, but at the same time, they said that the new Prime Minister has excellent relations with the kingdom which may help reduce impact of the Saudi campaign.

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