Lahore, October 16, 2014 (PPI-OT): Terming the increase in remittances encouraging, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the government to provide incentives to the overseas Pakistanis. In a statement issued here Thursday, the LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz, Senior Vice President Mian Nauman Kabir and Vice President Syed Mahmood Ghaznavi said that overseas Pakistanis have sent remittances amounting to $ 4.69 billion in the first quarter of the ongoing fiscal year that is a good omen.
They said that government should take measures to ensure that these remittances are invested in productive sectors instead of wasting them in consumption. They said that foreign remittances could easily reach $ 40 to 50 billion in the next few years if government announces incentives on the investment made by expatriate Pakistanis.
LCCI office-bearers said that government should encourage the expats to invest in the sectors like energy, agriculture, telecommunication and Information Technology. They urged the government to get removed all bureaucratic hurdles that are coming in the way of smooth inflow of the foreign remittances to Pakistan. They said that a large number of overseas Pakistanis are keen to invest in Pakistan but red-tapism is keeping them away.
They said that government should discourage the Hawala system as annually billion dollars are being sent through this illegal way. LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that at a time when the country is experiencing various economic challenges, increase in home remittances would provide much-needed support to the external sector of the economy.
“It is indeed a very positive development especially at a time when current account balance is under pressure.” He said that it is also an encouraging fact that the increase in remittances is not confined to a country or a region but has originated from almost all the countries, suggesting the onset of a positive trend.
LCCI President said that increase in home remittances would be a great help in narrowing down current account deficit of the country, building foreign exchange reserves, imparting stability to the exchange rate of the rupee, softening inflationary pressures and reducing the need of the country to borrow from the IMF and other sources.
Being an unrequited transfer, it would also not increase foreign indebtedness of the country but pave the way for a self-reliant economy. He said that overseas Pakistanis are an asset for the country and therefore, government should acknowledge their services for the country. LCCI President hoped that the government should make policies more conducive and announce lucrative incentives to attract maximum investment of the overseas Pakistanis.
For more information, contact:
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan