Home Remittance from GCC countries to India and Pakistan

The GCC bloc has been a magnet for all kind of workers from white to blue collars from all over the world because of tax free income and low cost of living compared to the western countries (although the cheap cost of living is now just a myth). Geographically, South Asian countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal etc are close to GCC countries resulting the workers from these places fascinates to the opportunities due to rapid growth of the region and generous government spending to modernize national infrastructure.

Due to oil exploration and now for the purpose of diversified economy, spending on infrastructure has been the top reason for jobs creation in GCC region which comprises of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait. The region also enjoys the stability and relatively better rule of law compared to South Asian countries.

The expats which come to work in these countries mostly consist of construction workers and other laborers from South Asian countries. However, white collar workers are also present in large numbers which includes bankers, engineers, doctors, businessmen etc. The aim of any expat worker in a foreign land is to make money and make money rather quickly as none of the GCC countries provides permanent residence and the only way to survive in there is either with employment or business. The expat workers send money back home to support the families and investments.

Indian and Pakistani expats combined will exceed even the 50% of total population of a country like UAE, hence it will be interesting to see the trend of remittances sent by the citizens of these countries back home as a comparison.

The following should be kept under consideration while reading the data presented here:

– Remittance data for Pakistan is authentic based on the reports of State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) website
– Remittance data for India is not published by Reserved Bank of India (RBI), hence various sources were consulted to get accurate data as much as possible.
– There is no published authentic records of expat population from India or Pakistan and even from the hosting countries, the figure is also changing rather quickly so best sourced data in the particular time domain is taken.
– All derived data based on best sourced data can be slightly skewed but gives an overall picture. However, the data inaccuracy may not deviate +/- 10% at max.

According to SBP’s declaration of remittance to Pakistan, the top country for home remittance is USA with last year’s remittances reaching 2.46 billion USD while KSA stands on the second number where remittances accounting to almost 2.2 billion USD.

Pakistan vs Indian expats in GCC

Pakistan vs Indian expats in GCC

Chart 1: Total Pakistani expats vs Indian Expats in various GCC countries


Interestingly although as the Chart 1 shows KSA being the top remittance originator for Pakistan, Bahrain has the best Per Capita for remittance probably because of tiny population of expats there. However, India although have more expats in KSA but as can be seen from Chart 2, the per capita remittance from UAE to India is beating all peers. Indian per capita remittance touches 8,000 USD (29k AED) showing the quality of Indians working and earning in UAE are not only better off than other GCC countries but even much better than their Pakistani counterparts. This spread is further confusing when we look at the Indian domestic per capita income of 5,777 USD and Paksitan standing at 4,699 USD.


Pakistan vs Indian expats remittances from GCC countries

Pakistan vs Indian expats remittances from GCC countries

Chart 2: Annual Per Capita Remittance from GCC countries to Pakistan and India


Chart 3 indicates towards the expat Pakistani and Indian population as a percentage of total population in the country. Here, UAE is heavily occupied by the two countries, infact a total of more than 55% of population living in UAE hails from the two South Asian countries. However, despite in large numbers, the expats from India and Pakistan are still in small percentage if compared with KSA. The reason is the Saudi Arabia’s large local population itself.

Pakistan vs Indian expats percentage in GCC

Pakistan vs Indian expats percentage in GCC

Chart 3: Total Pakistani expats vs Indian Expats in various GCC countries as a percentage of local population


The next two charts compare the remittances sent to Pakistan and India VS the GDP and total population of hosting country. Showing the existing potential in other countries which has been shown already by UAE.

Pakistan vs Indian expats remittances from GCC countries VS GDP

Pakistan vs Indian expats remittances from GCC countries VS GDP

Chart 4: Total Remittances from GCC countries to India and Pakistan compared to the respective GDP


Pakistan vs Indian expats remittances from GCC countries VS Population

Pakistan vs Indian expats remittances from GCC countries VS Population

Chart 5: Total Remittances from GCC countries to India and Pakistan compared to the respective population of the country

Here it must be remembered while comparing India and Pakistan in numbers, Pakistani is yet a small country as compared to India. India is six times bigger than Pakistan in population and if we consider that, the number of Pakistanis residing in GCC countries are in higher proportion, although the per capita remittance does not show a rosy picture for Pakistan specially in UAE.

There could only be 2 reasons of low per capita remittances from Pakistan as compared to India. Either Indians are actually earning a whole lot than their Pakistani counterparts, or they are saving more to send back home. The first narrative or Indians having higher earnings is slightly supported with high numbers of Indian businesses which are having heavier weightage than mostly professional Pakistanis. However, living in GCC countries it has been noted that Indians are better in saving money and living a frugal life style compared to their Pakistani counterparts hence supporting the statistics. 


Lessons from Scottish referendum for Pakistan

As we move into the final day of Scottish independence referendum, it has to be noted that the mood in whole of the UK is pretty calm and serene (as much as its use to be on any other day). This is a historical event, regardless of the outcome of vote. Who would have thought the British Raj will see a day when a tiny piece of land just adjacent to mighty England will ask for its own right in the form of independence, the same British Raj which was spread all over the world such that the sun never sets in the empire.

Regardless of the circumstances which has caused such a huge event happening in Scotland, none of the serious politicians has ever said that the independence of Scotland will be over their dead body or the independence will require bloody revolution. One of the world’s most powerful country has not been able to suppress the will of people. Similar separatist movements are on going in countries like Canada and Russia. If the state is in constant state of denial for the rights of people, these indigenous moments will keep on shaping. Even the best of western world is still divided on linguistics and ethnicity, example being Canada/Qubec but in no way the state persecutes its own people for keeping difference of opinion.

Framing the Scottish referendum over to the situation in Pakistan, it shows very interesting picture. The referendum in Scotland does not allow anyone else from UK to vote into it, even the Scots residing in England won’t be able to cast their votes strictly speaking. So its all about Scots residing in the region, however, lets take an example of Karachi within Pakistan. For Karachi and adjoining region to be declared as a province, first the upper and lower house of National Assembly needs to approve with 2/3rd majority and than the Sindh Assembly needs to approve the split with same kind of majority. This does not take into account what the people of Karachi actually wants. With total absence of governance within particularly the city and generally speaking for Sindh, there is no ray of hope with the democratic system which is in place currently.

The so called democratic government and politicians violates the constitution every day by not holding local government elections even after the amendments which makes it mandatory to hold local bodies election now. Its been seven years that we in Pakistan are living without our basic civic right of having a local devolved government. The landlords of provinces like Punjab, Sindh, KPK do not want the system to be implemented which will devolve the power to common man and challenge their unlawful authorities.

In this whole scenario since last year’s election, the worse part is played by revolutionary Imran Khan. I will say it as worse because he was the only man who was considered to be honest and thought to be man of his words. However, having ruled the province of KPK now for 1.5 years, he is yet to deliver on local government system and it is no where in sight so far. As for the other provinces, the rulers are already proven to be corrupt politicians making more and more money and getting more and more rich by each passing second in power.

The frustration mounting because of absence of local government system from the country specially for Karachi which contributes 70% of taxes for the country and yet deprived of basic rights can become a giant movement. The precedence set by Imran Khan with the sit-ins and eventually getting the government on negotiation table with getting even higher gains than initial demands is dangerous.

Considering this if request for local government elections by Karachi’s muscle political party as per the constitution is not honored, the only way forward would be sit-ins, and everyone knows there are parties more organized and with more street power than the PTI and their “dharnas” will create more impact than the ones going on currently. If that happens, I think the gain will not only be the local government election, but far higher.

Scots are just an example here, not to be taken seriously in context of overall situation of Pakistan.

Terrorism in Pakistan – Statistical View !

Terrorism is the menace  that has taken the whole world into its fear.  However in last 10 years it has claimed more lives in particular countries than even the worse war torn countries. Paksitan is one of those countries in the world who has seen more deaths of its citizens due to terrorism than any other nation without being directly involve in any kind of war. Suicide bombings and maniac gun assaults have been common in Pakistan due to various reasons. The purpose here is not to be judgmental but to present the number of killings and other information in graphical format. The data used here is taken from the news and media reports as per the compilation from South Asian Terrorism Portal (http://www.satp.org/), however the analysis is made in house by http://mixonline.info.

In complete analysis, the data for 2014 is only valid till mid 6th July 2014. While the army has launched an offensive Operation Zarb-e-Azb which is expected to be successful.

Chart 1 shows the total number of deaths in Pakistan since 2003 on monthly basis. The rise of fatalities through 2007 called for operation Rah-e-Nijat in South Waziristan area in 2009. The operation has not brought the end of trend in fatalities, citing to the reason the terrorists are still using North Waziristan as their hatcheries. Government has been reluctant to go for operation in other parts of Pakistan where the terrorists are operating because of the fallout to normal public living there along with other reasons.

Trend of Terrorism related Deaths in Pakistan

Chart1: Trend of Terrorism related Deaths in Pakistan (Click chart to open in a new window for high quality)


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