Bangladesh travel

Remittances plummet as travel picks up

KARACHI:

Remittances sent home by Pakistanis from overseas fell 6.6% month-on-month to $ 2.4 billion in November 2021 due to the lifting of travel restrictions and some stimulus of the Hundi / Hawala system.

According to data released on Monday by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), remittances stood at $ 2.52 billion in October 2021.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Arif Habib Commodities CEO and Managing Director Ahsan Mehanti was of the opinion that the drop in remittances was due to the reduction in Covid cases all over the world.

“As the Covid-19 pandemic apparently nears its end and travel facilities reopen around the world, remittances from Pakistan are declining,” he said, adding that the increase was short. term.

Remittances received by the country have been on the rise since the Covid-19 epidemic around the world last year due to widespread layoffs of Pakistanis in different countries, which forced them to settle in Pakistan, a he declared.

Now, the job cuts have largely ceased because the world is on the road to recovery, therefore, remittances are down.

“In addition, restrictions on overseas travel have been lifted and people are now using alternative channels to send money home, such as Hawala / Hundi,” he said.

Mehanti pointed out that there was economic uncertainty in Pakistan, which discouraged expatriates from sending huge amounts to the country. He stressed the need for economic stability to reverse the decline in remittances.

Alpha Beta Core CEO Khurram Schehzad said that as economies open up, especially countries in the Middle East, there is a possibility that the Hawala / Hundi money transfer mode has been reactivated. .

“Additionally, the end of the Covid uncertainty encourages overseas Pakistanis to spend more and save less, so naturally they send smaller sums home,” he noted.

In addition, he believed that remittances had peaked. “In the context of the global economic recovery, it is difficult to increase remittances. “

Echoing similar views, Ismail Iqbal Securities, head of research Fahad Rauf, said remittances were gradually slowing down. Entries in Bangladesh showed an early correction, however, Pakistan is currently experiencing the correction, he said.

“As travel facilities reopen, remittances through informal channels are starting to increase,” he said.

Year-to-year data

Remittances rose 0.6% year-on-year to $ 2.4 billion in November 2021, from $ 2.34 billion in the same month last year.

“With $ 2.4 billion in inflows in November 2021, workers’ remittances continued their strong streak of over $ 2 billion since June 2020,” the SBP said in a statement.

“The proactive policy measures by the government and the SBP to incentivize the use of formal channels and altruistic transfers to Pakistan amid the pandemic have contributed to the sustained influx of remittances since last year. “

Figures by country

According to the SBP, Pakistanis based in Saudi Arabia sent home the largest amount of remittances with $ 590 million in November 2021, down 10% from $ 655.4 million in October.

The amount sent by expatriates to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) fell 0.8% to $ 452.5 million in November 2021. Inflows from this Middle Eastern country stood at $ 455.9 million. dollars in the previous October.

Pakistanis in the UK managed to send $ 305.8 million in the month under review from $ 346.7 million in October, a drop of 11.8%.

Remittances sent by overseas Pakistanis residing in the United States climbed 2.6% to $ 237.8 million in November from $ 231.8 million in October.

Revenues of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries other than Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates edged up 0.3 percent to $ 286.4 million from $ 285.6 million in October .

Pakistanis in the European Union sent home remittances down 9.8% in November 2021, with inflows amounting to $ 262.5 million from $ 291.1 million in October 2021.

Posted in The Express Tribune, December 14e, 2021.

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