Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday gave his approval to several incentives aimed at attracting more remittances from overseas Pakistanis.
Khan was chairing a follow-up meeting regarding facilitating overseas Pakistanis, particularly to ease and incentivise home remittances through legal channels, before he departed for Saudi Arabia to attend an investment conference.
According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office, Khan during the meeting allowed the State Bank of Pakistan and its authorised dealers (banks) to "implement Business to Customer (B2C) and Customer to Business (C2B) transactions through foreign correspondent entities under their existing home remittance agency arrangements".
Incentives regarding B2C transactions:
- Freelance and information systems services have been allowed to transact up to $1,500 per individual per month.
- Transaction services other than computer and information services have also been allowed to transact up to $1,500 per individual per month.
- Pensioners can now receive up to Rs250,000 per individual per month.
For C2B transactions:
- Residents can easily receive direct payments from overseas Pakistanis to pay for utility bills, education fees of Higher Education Commission-accredited institutions, superstores, insurance companies, credit card bills, etc.
- Remittances received by "reputed" real estate builders/developers and housing societies from overseas Pakistanis on account of purchase of property such as residential and commercial houses, plots, flats and buildings, etc. have also been allowed except remittances for equity/participation in an enterprise.
The prime minister also approved a proposal for the government to pay an incentive of Rs2 for the use of mobile wallet on each transaction of $1 remittance as airtime; this amount was previously one rupee.
For foreign exchange companies and banks that bring in 15 per cent more remittances than the previous financial year, an incentive of Rs1 will also be granted against each $1 incremental remittance transaction.
Khan has also greenlighted a survey of Pakistani workers employed abroad, especially in Middle Eastern countries, to record their feedback on further improving the home remittance processes.
Terming overseas Pakistanis as "our greatest asset", the premier promised that his government will facilitate them in every manner.
The meeting was attended by ministers, advisers, secretaries, the State Bank governor, chairman Federal Board of Revenue, chairman Nadra and other senior officers.