In June 2023, remittances experienced a year-on-year decrease of 21.4 per cent, falling to the $2.2 billion mark compared to $2.8 billion in June 2022, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

Simultaneously, cumulative remittances sent by overseas Pakistanis for the 12-month period ending on June 30, 2023, diminished to $27 billion, reflecting a 14 per cent decline in the financial year 2022-23 when compared to the record-high inflows of $31 billion reported in the previous financial year.

In terms of monthly trends, remittances received by the country from overseas Pakistanis increased by 3.85 per cent from $2.102 billion in May to $2.18 billion in June 2023.

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The primary sources of remittance inflows during June 2023 were Saudi Arabia ($515 million), the United Kingdom ($343 million), the United Arab Emirates ($325 million), and the United States ($272 million).

Moreover, proceeds from expatriates residing in European Union countries showed an 11 per cent month-on-month increase in June 2023, amounting to $272 million. Similarly, remittances from other GCC countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman) totaled $271.9 million.

The decline in inflows reported for FY23 can be attributed to various austerity measures implemented by the coalition government and the banking regulator. These measures included high taxes on cash held in banks and exchange companies, aimed at increasing remittance collections.

Import restrictions, coupled with unfavorable domestic economic conditions during FY23, had a detrimental impact on remittance inflows. These factors resulted in reduced demand and led to a diversion of a significant portion of expatriate inflows towards informal currency exchange channels.

Fundamentally, the contraction in imports caused by policy measures, along with demand suppression, exchange rate depreciation, and the preference for undocumented channels to maximise profits, all contributed to curbing remittance inflows during FY23. As a consequence, the expatriate Pakistani community residing in various countries faced inadequate facilitation.