Timely efforts eased C-19 impacts

ISLAMABAD: Secretary Finance Naveed Kamran Baloch on Thursday said timely action and coordinated efforts by the government and the country’s banks helped restrict the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on the flow of remittances into Pakistan.
Remittances to Pakistan declined 4.3 percent year-on–year during March–May period of the year 2020 compared with World Bank’s forecast of 23 percent for 2020.
“The decline in case of Bangladesh is 16.7 percent during March–May 2020 the only comparable regional data available,” he said while addressing a webinar arranged by DFID-UKAid to mark the Call to Action and the International Day of Family Remittances Action.
Baloch informed the participants the initial assessment in Pakistan suggested a sharp decline in remittances from April 2020 onwards due to COVID-19 pandemic.
“However, the government adopted timely measures to mitigate these adverse impacts by asking the banks to conduct aggressive awareness campaigns to inform the senders and recipient of remittances about available digital/online channels for sending and receiving remittances,” he said.
The finance secretary said the banks were also asked to conduct similar campaigns with their overseas correspondents and further advised to ensure availability of cash in remittance rich areas to cater to the needs of recipient of cash remittances.
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