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'National Remittance Loyalty Program' being launched to encourage overseas Pakistanis

  • Initiative aimed at promoting use of official channels, enhance inflow of foreign currency
Published August 11, 2021
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ISLAMABAD: The government has reportedly decided to launch 'National Remittance Loyalty Program' (NRLP), aimed at offering monetary and other benefits to lure Overseas Pakistanis to use official channels, well informed sources told Business Recorder.

Sharing details, sources said, Prime Minister chaired a meeting on the enhancement of inflow of Foreign Currency into the country on July 2, 2021. A presentation was given by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on the NRLP during the meeting. Subsequently, the Prime Minister's Office conveyed the following decisions/directions.

NRLP presented by SBP approved in principle. Minister Finance to sit with SBP and finalise the remittance reward rates/incentives proposed to offer maximum possible incentive to remitters with one week for formal launch of NRLP before October 01, 2021.

Ministry of Finance to coordinate with all participating agencies in NRLP to ensure that all arrangements are in place well before the launch of NRLP.

The NRLP will offer incentives/rewards to Overseas Pakistanis for sending remittances to Pakistan based on point's accumulation structure as follows:

Point Accumulation Structure.

On $ 10,000 per annum, reward will be 1 per cent, $ 30,000, reward 1.25 per cent and next $ 30,000 reward 1,5 per cent.

Example, annual remittances $ 25,000, reward will be 10,000* 1%+ 10,000* 1.25%. Rs 46.575- one reward point. One reward point is equal to Rs 1.

Effective from July 1: Remittances to be exempted from WHT

An Android and iOS based Mobile App (both English & Urdu) has been developed for this purpose by 1-Link whose development cost has been borne by the banks.

The operating cost of this Mobile App shall also be taken up by financial institutions. The remitters will be awarded points against each remittance transaction in accordance with the NRLP criteria. The incentives shall be availed through redemption of points.

The other salient features of NRLP include the following: - (i) three tiers: Green, Gold, Platinum; (ii) Virtual Loyalty Card" as a built-in feature; (iii) remitters shall register as Primary Users and can add one Supplementary User/ Beneficiary; (iv) all home remittances through formal channels are eligible, including funds received through RDA & used/ consumed locally.

Overseas Pakistanis shall be qualified to avail following service equivalent to the amount of the awarded points under NRLP against redemption of the accumulated points:- (i) PIA international air tickets -payment of extra luggage on PIA international flights; (ii) FBR -Mobile phone duty payment -personal baggage, tax payment on purchase of locally manufactured vehicles, payment of duty on imported vehicle; (iii) Nadra -renewal of CNIC/NICOP; (iv) Directorate General of Immigration & Passports -Renewal of Passport; (v) State Life/MOOP&HRD, life insurance premium; (vi) OPF-OPF Schools free; (vii) USC-utility stores purchases; (viii) BE&OE -payable fee and; (ix) CAA/FIA (non-monetary) separate counters for priority clearances, placement of standees/banners for promotion.

The estimated financial impact/budget based on the assumption that remitters equivalent to 25% of the remittances as of FY 21 will register for NRLP, is Rs. 13.107 billion for FY22.

The budget disbursement mechanism shall be the same as applicable under other incentive schemes for home remittances, whereby participating Public Sector Entities (PPSES) may submit their claims with SBP BSC through 1-Link after verification of claims by 1-Link. SBP BSC will directly disburse funds to eligible PPSEs after receipt of funds from MoF.

The Summary has not been circulated amongst the stakeholders, as there is no requirement of consultation at this stage. All the relevant stakeholders have been consulted in a series of meetings. However, further consultation shall be made as and when required.

Finance Ministry has proposed that point's accumulation structure estimated financial impact/budget of Rs. 13.107 billion. Service to be offered by different participating PSEs under NRLP will be approved. In future, other entities/services will also be added to the scheme with the approval of the Finance Minister.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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