Remittances hit 32-month low at $1.89b in January

Workers' remittances to Pakistan fell to a 32-month low in January 2023, slipping below the $2 billion mark, according to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)

The remittances recorded at $1

89 billion, a decrease of 13% compared to the same month in the previous year and a drop of 10% compared to December 2022

The low inflows have increased the country's reliance on foreign debt, which has already mounted beyond affordability

In the first seven months of the current fiscal year (July-January 2023), remittances dropped 11% to $16 billion compared to $18 billion in the same period last year

The majority of remittances in January 2023 came from Saudi Arabia ($407

6 million), the United Arab Emirates ($269

2 million), the United Kingdom ($330

4 million), and the United States ($213

9 million)

Experts believe the inflows will improve in the coming months after the devaluation of the rupee to around Rs270 against the US dollar in the interbank market

The devaluation had been hovering around Rs225-230/$ until January 24, 2023

Also read: Exports, remittances to stay lower Additionally, overseas Pakistanis are expected to send higher amounts to their relatives during the upcoming month of Ramazan due to the historical high inflation

Historical trends show that remittances usually grow during Ramazan and Eid festivals

The significant drop in remittances through official channels such as banks and exchange companies is believed to be due to a portion of overseas Pakistanis opting to send funds to their relatives through informal and illegal channels, such as hawala-hundi

These informal channels are offering significantly higher prices, ranging from Rs250-260/$ compared to the Rs225-230/$ offered through formal channels

The decline in workers' remittances has raised concerns about the country's economic stability and the need for the government to find alternative sources of financing

The SBP has not yet commented on the issue

Date:14-Feb-2023 Reference:View Original Link