Savings from expatriates

GOVERNMENT has invited local and foreign banks for appointment as lead manager to mobilise up to one billion dollars from Pakistan’s expatriates via savings certificates scheduled before the end of current fiscal year. According to Director-General of Central Directorate of National Savings Zafar Masud, initially, the certificates will be launched in the Gulf Cooperation Council market and later they would be launched in other countries in different phases.
National Savings deserves credit for coming out with this innovative idea, which has the potential to mitigate government woes, which is hard pressed due to fast depleting foreign exchange reserves and growing needs of the country for foreign exchange because of massive developmental activities. Traditional sources of foreign exchange inflows are drying up as the United States is using economic and financial aid blockade as a tool to pressurise Pakistan to accept coercive terms of cooperation in the war against terror. The IMF option is there but it has strings attached to it and therefore not advisable in the given political situation in the country. CDNS is understandably coming to the aid of the government at this difficult juncture and hopefully it would receive enthusiastic response from Overseas Pakistanis, who would get a chance to earn reasonable profit on FE certificates. They are already contributing enormously to national development as they sent $14.6 billion in the first nine months of the current financial year. The pace of remittances is likely to pick up further in months to come as different banks have launched digital remittance services. But there is still enormous scope to increase remittances and encourage Overseas Pakistanis to invest their savings in these certificates as currently a huge amount is sent to Pakistan through Hundi and other non-formal channels.

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