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Remittances soar to $2.148 billion in six months

KARACHI (January 17 2003) : Remittances from overseas Pakistanis skyrocketed in first six months of the current fiscal year and was nearly doubled as compared with the same period corresponding year.

According to the statement released by the State Bank of Pakistan, on Thursday, the home remittances during the first six months of the current fiscal year (July-December 2002) amounted to 2.148 billion dollars as against 982 million dollars during the same period last year depicting an impressive increase of 118.63 percent.

The amount includes cash flows, encashment of FEBCs and FCBCs, Hajj remittances and remittances from Iraq-Kuwait war affectees.

Out of the total remittances of 2.148 billion dollars received in the country during July-December 2002, workers remittances contributed 2.019 billion dollars as against 899 million dollars during the corresponding period last year showing an increase of 124.66 percent.

The total amount remitted in December 2002, was 363.19 million dollars as compared with 189.49 million dollars in December, 2001, posting an increase of 91.67 percent.

Since the attacks in the US on September 11, 2001, the government has cracked down on the illegal 'hundi' web of moneychangers allegedly used to channel funds.

As a result, more expatriates who regularly send money to their families use commercial banks.

The flow of funds from banks helped strengthened the value of Pakistani rupee against the dollar.

The rupee has gained almost 2.8 percent to the dollar in the six months ended December 31, 2002.

The rupee also improved as Pakistan received loans from the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and Asian Development Bank to revive economy, reduce poverty and build projects.

The remittances in fiscal year 2001-2002 amounted to 2.29 billion dollars nearly doubled compared to preceding year.

The current trend indicates that the remittances would easily surpass the 3 billion-dollar mark, expected by the economic managers in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2003.

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