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Prime Minister Khan calls for more incentives for Pakistanis overseas

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Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses the launching ceremony of the Sohni Dharti fundraising program. Courtesy Photo PID

Addressing the launch of the Sohni Dharti remittance program, Prime Minister regrets that his government was forced to request an IMF loan due to a growing trade deficit

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday urged his economic team to push more and help Pakistanis abroad to increase their remittances and investments in Pakistan.

I urge the business team to keep in mind that we need to encourage our nine million Pakistanis abroad to come to the country and ensure the ease of doing business so that they send their remittances through the banking channels. , he said during the launching ceremony of the Sohni Dharti Remittance. Program, which aims to encourage the use of formal banking channels for remittances.

Pakistanis overseas, the prime minister continued, should be treated like VIPs because facilitating them has benefited them and the country.

The Sohni Dharti Remittance Program is a points-based loyalty program that would grant reward points to senders and their recipients for remittances sent through formal banking channels. The accumulated points can then be redeemed with participating public sector entities to benefit from their services free of charge. The government has launched a mobile app in English and Urdu that shippers can download to register for the program and redeem their points. According to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office, senders can add a beneficiary parent and transfer reward points to them.

The Sohni Dharti remittance program has divided senders into three categories. Green will receive one percent rewards for annual fundraising up to and including $ 10,000; Gold will be awarded 1.25% in rewards for $ 10,001 to $ 30,000 in annual installments; and Platinum senders will receive 1.5 percent for annual installments over $ 30,000. Overseas, Pakistan would benefit from special discounts in public sector entities, including on intentional PIA plane tickets; payment of additional baggage; payment of taxes on cell phones; purchase of vehicles; duty on imported vehicles; renewal of the CNIC / NICOP; insurance premium; OPF tuition and purchases at utility stores.

During his speech, Khan said the government will soon launch another program that will allow overseas Pakistanis to buy homes and invest in real estate in Pakistan through Roshan digital accounts in a safe and transparent manner. . He said banks would check and verify legal details of housing companies so overseas Pakistanis can be protected from fraud. He also headed the Planning Division to offer tax incentives to overseas Pakistanis on their real estate investments.

IMF loan

The Prime Minister regretted that the country’s growing trade deficit forced his government to request a loan from the International Monetary Fund. Although our exports are increasing, they are still lower than our imports. This causes pressure on our rupee, devaluation of our currency and inflation, he said, adding that this has caused Islamabad to seek financial support from the IMF 20 times.

Khan said that as Pakistan’s economy grew and imports increased, pressure was also mounting on the current account. When the pressure comes on the current account, it also puts pressure on the rupee and we need to get closer to the IMF, he added.

However, he said, the growth in large-scale manufacturing seen during the COVID-19 pandemic and remittances from overseas Pakistanis helped close the current account gap. He stressed that Pakistan’s overseas remittances had been of great support during a difficult time.

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