Rise in remittances


THE measures taken by the government so far to attract higher remittances from overseas Pakistanis have started bearing fruit with inflows soaring to $11.4 billion during the first six months of current fiscal year. The Finance Ministry on Monday in a statement was also upbeat to achieve the target of $ 24 billion in remittances by the end of fiscal year.
This increase indeed is a welcome development as the remittances have remained a big source of the country’s foreign income, which partially help finance foreign expenditure, like import payment and debt repayment, and eventually narrow down the current account deficit. These overseas workers indeed have over the years proved to be a precious asset for the country and present government really deserves appreciation for valuing their contribution to the economy and provided them the necessary incentives to attract cash inflows through official banking channels. The improvement of diplomatic relations with the Gulf countries has also restored the confidence of foreign employers in Pakistani workforce and this is the reason that substantial increase has recently been witnessed in manpower export which is likely to further pick up momentum in the coming months and years as doors for our workers are now opening in Japan and European countries such as Germany. We understand that these remittances can be multiplied several times by focusing more on sending skilled youth abroad after imparting them the requisite training in different fields. Most recently, both federal and provincial governments have started high tech skill development programs and these should be pursued vigorously in order to increase the ratio of export of skilled workforce abroad. A skilled worker earns more than the unskilled or semi-skilled worker. Then, the process of facilitation and providing incentives to the expatriates must continue and they should also be approached and encouraged to invest in different sectors of economy. Doing so will really help improve country’s overall economic conditions. Whilst improvement in remittances is encouraging, country’s exports need to be enhanced by bringing in much needed value addition through revival of industrialisation. This is the only course the country can end its reliance on foreign lenders and achieve self reliance.