- Programme of around Rs14 billion will provide incentives to overseas Pakistanis to encourage them to send home more remittances through formal channels
- Purpose is to help govt deal with expected increase in current account deficit
ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved the National Remittance Loyalty Programme (NRLP) of around Rs14 billion for the current fiscal year in order to provide incentives to overseas Pakistanis to encourage them to send home more remittances through formal channels and help the government deal with the expected increase in the current account deficit in an effective manner.
An official said that the meeting presided over by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin was of the view that as growth activities would pick up, there is a likelihood of increase in current account deficit.
In such a scenario growth in remittances would be important to deal with the current account deficit. The Governor State Bank of Pakistan was quoted saying that no incentives are sufficient enough to increase remittances.
The minister is said to have endorsed the governor SBP’s viewpoint and approved the proposal.
Earlier, a presentation on NRLP was given by Secretary Finance on Wednesday.
He stated that the government and the SBP measures have incentivised the overseas Pakistanis and encouraged them to remit money back home through formal channels.
As a result, record remittances of $29.4 billion in the last fiscal year were sent by the overseas Pakistani through formal channels.
In order to continue the positive trajectory of remittances, the SBP will introduce a mobile application, NRLP, which will offer incentives/rewards to overseas Pakistanis against each remittance transaction in accordance with a set criterion.
The above application will be formally launched towards the end of October 2021.
After due deliberations, the ECC approved the structure and estimated financial impact of the NRLP with a view to incentivising remitters to transfer funds through formal channels thus, further strengthening the inflow of remittances.
The finance minister directed to exercise due diligence before the launch for seamless integration with all service providers to ensure smooth working of the NRLP.
Among others, Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Federal Minister for Privatisation Muhammadmian Soomro, Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, Advisor to the PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr Ishrat Hussain, SAPM on Power and Petroleum Tabish Gauhar, SAPM on Finance and Revenue Dr Waqar Masood, federal secretaries and other senior officers participated in the meeting.
Governor SBP Dr Reza Baqir also participated through a video link.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021