KARACHI: Pakistan has registered a current account surplus for the second straight month, the central bank said in a statement issued Wednesday, on account of remittances sent in by the expatriates as well as cheaper imports.
In its statement, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said the Current Account Balance (CAB) surplus “amounted to $ 508 mn and $ 297 mn during July and August 2020”, respectively.
In addition, the cumulative current account surplus came in at $0.805 billion in the July-August 2021 period, as opposed to a deficit worth $1.2 billion in the comparable time frame, last year, the SBP said on Twitter.
2/2 Cumulatively CAB reached a surplus of $805 mn during Jul-Aug FY21 compared to a deficit of $1.2 bn in the same period last year. Efforts to attract workers’ remittances, flexible exchange rate and relatively benign import prices explain the improving current account balance.
— SBP (@StateBank_Pak) September 23, 2020
“Efforts to attract workers’ remittances, flexible exchange rate and relatively benign import prices explain the improving current account balance,” it added.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Imran Khan had said the remittances sent back home by overseas Pakistanis in August 2020 continued on an uptrend from July’s record figure of $2.77 billion, totally $2.10 billion and translating into a 24.4% rise as compared to the same period, last year.
This was “in addition to the record $2,768 million in July 2020”, PM Imran said on Twitter.
Overseas Pakistanis sent $2,095 million in remittances in Aug 2020 — 24.4% higher than Aug. last year — in addition to the record $2,768 million in July 2020. For the first two months of this fiscal year our remittances are up 31% over the same period last year. Alhamdulillah
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) September 14, 2020
“For the first two months of this fiscal year our remittances are up 31% over the same period last year,” he added.
The SBP had termed the development “largely in line” with its projections and attributed the increase to the efforts made under the Pakistan Remittances Initiative (PRI) and the gradual reopening of businesses in major host countries such as the United States, as well as others in the Middle East and Europe.
However, it had underlined that on a month-on-month basis, remittances were 24.3% lower than the record level in July 2020, “reflecting the usual seasonal decline in the post Eid-al-Adha period”.
Prior to that, in August, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis, Sayed Zulfiqar Bukhari, had announced that the government decided to provide a digital banking facility to the expatriates.
The initiative would be a great investment opportunity for the Pakistani community living abroad, the premier’s aide had said, noting that digital banking had been a longstanding demand of the Pakistani diaspora.