FPCCI demands concessionary scheme for expatriates

Islamabad: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Wednesday said following a successful tax amnesty scheme for rich a concessionary scheme for poor and mediocre Pakistanis serving abroad should be introduced.

A rebate of 2 to 2.5 percent on remittances will not only discourage hundi and other illegal money transfer channels but it can boost remittances by one billion dollar per month, it said.

Pakistan is attracting around 20 billion dollars in remittances per annum which could be jacked up to 32 billion dollars relieving the country of the intensity of the current balance of payment crisis, said Karim Aziz Malik, Vice President FPCCI.

He said that encouraging ordinary citizens to send money legally will benefit them and end our dependence on foreign loans which are not without strings.

Karim Aziz Malik said that rupee was devalued to boost exports and remittances but none of the objectives could be achieved as Pakistanis living abroad stopped the transfer of funds in anticipation of further devaluation.

He said that appreciation of rupee will boost remittances in the short-term but illegal transfers will continue as long as it is cheaper than the legal transfers hitting the targets and the economy.

The FPCCI VP said that Pakistan has floated bonds to get the loan on 8 to 10 percent from international debt market and now it should offer a little discount to expats which will boost inflows while debt burden will not be increased.

He noted that a reduction in expenses by oil exporting countries, decision to prefer locals for jobs and other conclusions had reflected negatively on remittances which should be dealt with by the new government.