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LAHORE: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s Businessmen Panel Chairman Mian Anjum Nisar has expressed the hope that Pakistan would receive record remittance inflows of up to $29 billion this year, as the government and central bank initiatives to facilitate overseas workers have started giving positive results amidst worldwide corona epidemic challenges.

Mian Anjum Nisar said that foreign remittances flows are the only hope which can support the country’s account balance amidst low volumes of foreign direct investment and slow growth of exports. He said that overseas Pakistanis living in Gulf and Saudi Arabia are likely to maintain an upward momentum in remittances, as they contributed more than 60 percent of the total inflows during the July-April 2021.

The BMP Chairman said that upward trend in remittances from overseas workers was positive news for the country’s economy, as remittances to Pakistan stayed above $2 billion for the 11th consecutive month in April 2021, reaching $2.8 billion, up by 56 percent. Cumulatively, remittances have risen to an all-time high mark of $24.2 billion during July-April 2021 period, up by 29 percent over the corresponding period last year, he noted referring to the State Bank of Pakistan data.

He said that restrictions on traveling, introduction of new channels of money transfer, launch of Roshan Digital Account, government efforts to curb anti-money laundering and more reliance on digital channels are the major motives to attract record remittances inflows.

Mian Anjum Nisar called for more incentives to further escalate foreign remittances, besides enhancing investment in the country by Pakistani expatriates, which can play a pivotal role in boosting the economy of Pakistan. He said that if the government assists overseas Pakistanis and provides them with incentives, they can play a pivotal role in boosting Pakistan’s economy through their remittances and investments for the socio-economic prosperity of the country.

“The BMP is happy that the Pakistan Remittances Initiative has started giving results, as the initiative had led to the improvement in remittances’ inflow for the straight 11 months, contrary to the anticipation of 12 percent drop in remittances to five Asian nations, including Pakistan by the top global credit rating agencies. He noted that structural reforms can revive Pakistan’s economic growth with a major focus on incentives for oversees Pakistanis workers and industrialization.

He remarked that overseas Pakistanis can invest in the housing sector, agriculture, transportation and various other industries, which have huge potential.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021