Prime Minister Imran Khan at the launch ceremony of the Sohni Dharti fundraising program in Islamabad on November 25, 2021. PID
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday called for luring Pakistanis abroad and giving them “VIP treatment” for remittances they send to their home countries.
The prime minister addressed the launching ceremony of the Sohni Dharti Remittance Program (SDRP), which will award points to overseas Pakistanis for sending funds through legal channels, Radio Pakistan reported.
The prime minister said that nine million Pakistanis overseas “contribute enormously to the country’s economy.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan said the government appreciates its role in helping to bridge the gap between exports and imports, as the remittances they send slightly offset the growing current account deficit.
The government is determined to extend every possible facility to overseas Pakistanis to encourage them to send their money through banking channels, the prime minister said.
In addition, the prime minister said overseas Pakistanis can now buy homes and invest in real estate through the Roshan Digital initiative. He said the government was working on a plan to give them tax cuts as well.
For his part, Prime Minister’s Finance Advisor Shaukat Tarin said the program was “thanksgiving” to Pakistanis overseas.
The adviser said previous banks were rewarded for attracting remittances, but now for the first time overseas Pakistanis will benefit by scoring points in the app.
“The gap between our exports and our imports is bridged by our Pakistanis living abroad,” the adviser said.
Meanwhile, state bank governor Reza Baqir has declared that all door-to-door remittances sent from anywhere in the world through legal channels are eligible for inclusion in the SDRP.
In addition, funds received on Roshan digital accounts which are consumed locally by conversion, and thus become non-repatriable, can also be included in the program, he said.
The governor called the launch of the SDRP another step towards digitalization and financial inclusion that would play an important role in the digital integration of overseas Pakistanis and their beneficiaries in Pakistan.
SDRP’s mobile application is available on Android and iOS platforms.
Under PRRS, if a person sends funds up to the limit of $ 10,000 or the equivalent in a fiscal year, they will be awarded 1% as a reward and will be assigned a green card category, according to a press release from the Ministry of Finance.
Likewise, for remittances sent by an individual between $ 10,000 and $ 30,000 or equivalent, the sender would receive 1.25% as a reward and categorized as gold cards, according to the release.
Finally, for deposits over $ 30,000 or the equivalent, they will receive 1.5% as a reward and will be assigned a platinum card category, according to the press release.
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