Overseas Pakistani remittances from Middle East decline

Overseas Pakistani remittances from Middle East decline
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Overseas Pakistani workers sent $1.48 billion in February 2017, down 6.9% compared with the same month of the previous year, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Friday.

Total remittances in the first eight months (July to February) of fiscal year 2017 have come down by 2.5% to $12.36 billion from $12.68 billion in the same period last year.

Remittances play a major role in stabilising Pakistan’s external sector, as they make up almost half the import bill and cover deficit in the trade of goods account.

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Pakistan’s remittances, like many other developing countries, have come under pressure due to world economic slowdown mainly because of low crude oil prices. However, the situation in Pakistan is considered more problematic because of pressure on foreign exchange reserves.

Country-wise details for the month of February 2017 show that inflow of remittances from Saudi Arabia – the country that hosts the largest diaspora of Pakistanis (about 2.2 million) in the world – came down to $404.4 million compared with $475 million in February 2016.

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