Home » Freelancers sent $350.15 million in remittances during July to March

Freelancers sent $350.15 million in remittances during July to March

by Haroon Amin
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According to the Economic Survey 2023–24, foreign exchange profits totaling $350.15 million were contributed by freelancers based in Pakistan for the fiscal year 2024 (July–March).

According to the report, there has been a significant rise in ARPU as a result of recent developments including the expansion of broadband services, legislation allowing telecom carriers to charge at will despite growing inflation, and the decline in the multi-SIM phenomena. ARPU increased to Rs. 284/month in fiscal year 2024 (Jul-Dec) from Rs. 248/month in fiscal year 2023.

Pakistan’s telecom rates are among the most affordable in the world for its inhabitants. Pakistan has the lowest cost per gigabyte at $0.12, ranking sixth lowest in the world and the lowest in the region. The effective cost of one GB of data has been steadily reducing over time, according to an examination of the price over time. Since FY2018, the cost of data has decreased by 71%, from Rs. 114.6/GB to Rs. 32.8/GB in fiscal year 2023.

The report also revealed that Pakistan’s IT sector currently exports goods worth about $2.6 billion a year. But in order to reach the lofty goal of $15 billion in annual exports over the next five years, at least 200,000 more skilled and qualified IT workers are required.

With $6.3 billion in local investments and $1.4 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) between 2019 and March 2024, the industry has significant investment potential.

During the fiscal year 2024 (July-March), the telecom industry demonstrated resilience by growing its services and producing telecom revenues of approximately Rs. 735 billion, despite economic headwinds like increased business costs and inflationary pressures.

Read more: Pakistan ranks fourth in the top ten countries for freelancers

With Rs. 340 billion in GST, withholding tax, regulatory fees, first-time and yearly licence fees, and other taxes, the telecom industry continued to be a major source of income generation in the fiscal year 2023. The telecom industry additionally contributed Rs. 213 billion in the July–March fiscal year of 2024.

In fiscal year 2024 (July-March), ICT export remittances increased from $339 million (17.44 percent) to $2.283 billion, up from $1.944 billion in the same time the previous year. Exports of ICT services brought in $306 million in March 2024, a 36% rise from $225 million in the same month the previous year.

March 2024 had a $49 million (19.1% rise) increase in remittances for ICT services exported compared to February 2024, the prior month. With a trade surplus of $1.996 billion, the highest in all services (87.43 percent of total ICT export remittances) was realised by the IT &ITeS Industry during the fiscal year 2024 (July-March). This represents a 15.84 percent increase over the trade surplus of $1.723 billion during the same period the previous year.

ICT services export remittances grew by $49 million (19.1% growth) in March 2024 as compared to the same month in February 2024. The IT & ITeS Industry realised a trade surplus of $1.996 billion during the fiscal year 2024 (July-March), the highest in all services (87.43 percent of total ICT export remittances). This represents an increase of 15.84 percent over the trade surplus of $1.723 billion during the same period the previous year.

In addition, the trade imbalance for the services sector in FY2024 (July–March) was $1.655 billion. With $2.283 billion in exports, the ICT industry leads all service exporters (making up 39.31% of all services exported during that time). “Other Business Services” comes in second, with $1.205 billion.

Due to a drop in telecommunication (Spectrum charge decreased by Rs. 75 billion in fiscal year 2024 compared to fiscal year 2023), the information and communication industry saw growth of -3.02 percent.

From 58.7 million in FY2018 to 135.4 million in March 2024, the number of broadband subscriptions increased to 130.5 percent. These figures highlight the increasing importance of broadband services in Pakistan’s internet-connected community.

The amount of data used by the telecom industry has increased significantly; in FY2024, the combined data consumption from mobile and fixed broadband services amounted to a substantial 24,515 petabytes (estimated), underscoring the importance of broadband in Pakistan’s digitally connected society as well as the necessity of expanding infrastructure.

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