Remittances to Pakistan witness sustained growth

562

KARACHI, Sept 21 (APP): The home remittances to Pakistan have
witnessed a sustained growth increasing from $6.5 billion in the
fiscal year 2008 to $ 19.9 by fiscal year 2016.
This was stated by the Deputy Governor of the State Bank of
Pakistan (SBP), Jamil Ahmed, at the launch of the `Docudrama’ against
ills of `Hundi and Hawal’ at a local hotel on Thursday.
He lauded the management of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP)
for the launch of the documentary drama aimed at curtailing the menace
of illegal money transfer and for promoting the use of formal banking
channels for home remittances.
Jamil Ahmed remarked that docudrama pertains to one of the high
priority areas for our economy- home remittances which are an important source of
foreign exchange inflows in the country and emerged as major source of financing trade
deficit and help containing current account deficit in the recent years.
`Our major sending corridors- Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates,
United States, and United Kingdom contributed over three-fourth in total inflows of home
remittances’, he added. The collective share of other
Gulf Council countries- Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait, is 12 percent.
Quoting World Bank statistics, he pointed that Pakistan has achieved
the highest compound annual average growth of 16 percent in home remittance during
2009-2016 amongst top 20 remittance recipient countries.
This, he further stated, could not have been achieved without the
policy support of the SBP, Ministry of Finance, and efforts by PRI and
the banking industry.
However, he went on, it is a point of concern that home remittances
have declined by 3.1 per cent in the fiscal year 2017. This decline is mainly due to
economic slowdown in Middle East and post Brexit
depreciation of British Pound.
Jamil Ahmed was of the view that this poses a challenge for all
stakeholders and that dedicated efforts are required to make formal
channels more attractive for sending remittances, Banks need to focus
not only on traditional corridors of remittances but also explore
untapped non-traditional corridors. Banks should take advantage of
large Pakistani diaspora around the globe. They should also improve
their service levels in general and for remittance recipients in
particular.
He said that the government and the SBP were mindful of the
developments in the remittance industry. The focused efforts of all stakeholders resulted
in an increase in home remittances by 13.2
percent during the first two months of the fiscal year 2018 compared
with a fall of 3,2 percent in July-August in fiscal year 2017.

Jamil Ahmed said the banks should further enhance their marketing
efforts to attract incremental home remittances to the country through formal channels.
In his address the president of NBP, Saeed Ahmed, was of the view
that this year the country faced challenge of balance of payment.
He said the remittances played a key role in this very regard and
that these should be brought to the country through formal channels.
Saeed Ahmed stated that launch of the docudrama was to create
awareness about the ills in the society created through delivery of
money internationally via illegal channels of `hundi’ and `hawala’.
The SBP president pointed out that we would have to compete with
the menace of hundi and hawala.
A television campaign would also be launched in this regard, Saeed
Ahmed further informed.
Later, the documentary drama was also screened. The launching was
attended by officials of the SBP and the NBP.
Ms. Nageen Rizvi of the NBP conducted the proceedings of the
launching ceremony.