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Monday February 26, 2024

‘Incentives to expats can multiply remittances’

By Our Correspondent
December 11, 2023

LAHORE:The trust building, encouragement and the lucrative incentives to the overseas Pakistanis can multiple the foreign remittances which are the major part of our economy.

The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) office-bearers Sunday stated that the remittances in 2022-23 dropped by around $4 billion to $27.3 billion. It is worth mentioning that in 2021-22, the remittances stood at $31.3 billion. 

A money exchange employee counts dollars. — AFP/File
A money exchange employee counts dollars. — AFP/File

One of the main reasons of drop in remittances in 2022-23 was the difference between the inter-bank and open market dollar rate. Since this issue is resolved now, it is expected that remittance will pose a sound growth in 2023-24. In the first three months of the financial year (July-September 2023-24), the remittances stood at $6.3 billion.

LCCI President Kashif Anwar stated that the government should take measures to ensure that these remittances are invested in productive sectors. They said that foreign remittances could easily reach $50 billion in the next few years if the government announces incentives on the investment made by expatriate Pakistanis.

The government should encourage the expats to invest in energy, agriculture, telecommunication and Information Technology. A large number of overseas Pakistanis are keen to invest in Pakistan. They said that the government would have to discourage the Hawala system as annually billions of dollars are being sent through this illegal way.

Senior Vice-President Zafar Mahmood Chaudhry and Vice-President Adnan Khalid Butt said that at a time when the country is experiencing various economic challenges, rise in home remittances would provide much-needed support.

They said that increase in home remittances would be a great help in narrowing down current account deficit of the country, building foreign exchange reserves, imparting stability to the exchange rate, softening inflationary pressures and reducing the need of the country to borrow.

They said that the increase in foreign remittances, would pave the way for a self-reliant economy. They said that overseas Pakistanis are an asset to the country; therefore, the government should acknowledge their services for the country.