Expatriates come to the rescue of their motherland

Overseas pakistanis have come to help their motherland once again. While most economic indicators turned out to be negative, or hit by shortfalls, the only shining examples is overseas Pakistanis’ home remittances, which recorded a historic high.

By (M. Aftab)

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Published: Sun 3 Jun 2012, 10:25 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 12:23 PM

Remittances are projected to cross $13 billion by the time fiscal year 2011-12 ends on June 30, according to Finance Miniser Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, who unveiled the federal budget for financial year 2012-13 on Friday. “The most outstanding support Pakistan has enjoyed is from its expatriate community as they have remitted unprecedented amounts in the last two years. From about $9 billion in 2009 to over $13 billion this year, there is an increase of 45 per cent in two years,” Dr Shaikh said.

“Let me dispel a misgiving, some people have tried to create regarding such an extraordinary increase in remittances,” he said.

He was referring to reports that some Pakistanis are sending their tax-evaded or black money to abroad through unofficial channels, and bring it back to Pakistan to “whiten” it. Dr Shaikh said more than 75 per cent of remittances are less than $500 per month, showing the family-help nature of such transfers.

“We have not made any changes in foreign remittances regulatory regime, which is the same that was framed three decades ago. However, we have set up the Pakistan Remittances Initiative and contacted more than 300 foreign financial institutions to participate in the remittances business, and establish counterpart arrangements with Pakistani institutions,” he said. “Also, we have encouraged global corporations, engaged in money transfer business to come to Pakistan and to do business here. These initiatives are behind that outstanding performance of foreign remittances that have helped stabilise the balance of payments situation.”

“The government is making sincere efforts to boost overseas employment for Pakistanis, which will not only reduce te unemployment burden in the country, but will also increase remittances, and thereby help to improve the economy of Pakistan,” Dr Shaikh said adding that Pakistan has signed memorandum of understanding with many countries, including Malaysia, Kuwait, and Qatar, to provide them skilled workforce from Pakistan.

The number of Pakistani workers registered for overseas employment through the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment has been rising. Saudi Arabia is now host to the largest number of Pakistani workers in the world, aside from other Gulf states, including the UAE, Oman and Kuwait. Pakistan exports highly qualified, skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled labour.


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