Pakistan govt rejects World Bank projections on remittances

The Ministry of Finance on Tuesday dismissed World Bank’s latest projections on remittances after the ministry said that it expects remittances inflows to reach $20-$21 billion in FY2020 despite the impact of Coronavirus pandemic.

The Finance Division in a statement said that that the government measures to boost remittances have paid off as remittances have already touched $17 billion levels during the first nine months of the current fiscal year (Jul-Mar, FY2020) against $16 billion last year, registering a growth of 6.2pc.

The statement comes after World Bank in its report, its latest report, “Migration and Development Brief: Covid-19 Crisis through a Migration Lens”, has projected 23 percent decline in remittances for Pakistan, totaling about $17 billion in 2020, compared with $22.5 billion in 2019, due to the economic crisis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, and shut down as well as the decline in oil prices.

The WB stated that global remittances are projected to decline sharply by about 20 percent, while South Asia is projected to witness a 22 percent decline in remittances in 2020.

The Finance Ministry maintained that the WB estimates are based on unrealistic facts without considering the government’s efforts to give a boost to remittances during the current fiscal year.

It added that the magnitude of pandemic impact on remittances is dependent on the intensity and duration of COVID-19. “It seems that the World Bank has taken a hypothetical worst-case scenario without considering ground realities,” the ministry maintained.

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