KARACHI - Remittances sent home by overseas Pakistani workers crossed $13 billion mark for the first time in country’s history during the last fiscal year (2011-12).

They remitted a record amount of $13,186.58 million during the last fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2012, showing an impressive growth of 17.73 percent when compared with $ 11,200.97 million received during the preceding fiscal year (2010-11), said State Bank of Pakistan here on Tuesday.

Bank said except for the months of September ($890.42 million) and November ($924.92 million), Pakistani workers remitted more than $1 billion during ten months of the fiscal year. Remittances received from all countries of the world showed substantial growth during the last fiscal year and almost all of this growth was through banking channels.

The inflow of remittances in July-June, 2012 period from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, GCC countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman) and EU countries amounted to $3,687.00, $2,848.86 million, $2,334.47 million, $1,521.10 million, $1,495.00 million and $364.79 million respectively as compared with $2,670.07 million, $2,597.74 million, $2,068.67 million, $1,199.67 million, $1,306.18 million and $354.76 million respectively in the June- July, 2011 period, bank added.  SBP said remittances received from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries during the last fiscal year (2011-12) amounted to $935.36 million as against $1,003.81 million received in the preceding fiscal year (2010-11).

The monthly average remittances for July-June 2012 period comes out to $1,098.88 million as compared with $933.41 million during the preceding fiscal year, registering an increase of 17.73 percent.  Overseas Pakistanis also sent home an amount of $1,117.48 million in June 2012 when compared with $1,104.56 million received in the same month of 2010-11. During last month i.e. June 2012, remittances from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, GCC countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman) and EU countries amounted to $333.68 million, $219.14 million, $206.60 million, $128.12 million, $126.72 million and $29.24 million respectively as compared with $291.55 million, $270.04 million, $204.64 million, $121.35 million, $106.20 million and $33.83 million in June 2011. Remittances received from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries amounted to $73.98 million during June 2012 compared with $76.95 million received in the same month of 2010-11.

The continued impressive growth in workers’ remittances is the result of the efforts made by Pakistan Remittance Initiative (PRI) in collaboration with other stakeholders to facilitate both Overseas Pakistanis and their families back home.

It may be recalled that in order to provide an ownership structure in Pakistan for remittance facilitation, the Government of Pakistan through State Bank of Pakistan, Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and the Ministry of Finance had launched a joint initiative called Pakistan Remittance Initiative (PRI) in April 2009.

This initiative has been taken to achieve the objective of facilitating & supporting faster, cheaper, convenient and efficient flow of remittances.