Re­mit­tances suf­fi­cient to cover oil, food im­port bill

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

KARACHI: Pak­istan Over­seas Em­ploy­ment Pro­mot­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (POEPA) Chair­man Chaudhry Muham­mad Afzal on Sun­day said re­mit­tances should be in­creased which are presently suf­fi­cient to cover oil, food and LNG im­port bill but in­suf­fi­cient to cater for to­tal im­port bill within a decade.

Proper at­ten­tion and pro­vi­sion of en­abling en­vi­ron­ment can help coun­try grow re­mit­tances to a level where it would be suf­fi­cient to cover to­tal im­port bill which would be a great break­through, he said. Re­mit­tances were enough to cover oil im­port bill be­fore the plunge which is to re­sult in 23 per­cent drop in the im­port bill that will also shrink deficit, he said. Chaudhry Muham­mad Afzal said that oil im­port bill has been re­duced to twelve bil­lion dol­lars but it was not im­proved con­sump­tion which in­di­cates eco­nomic trend and pref­er­ences of re­fin­ers.

Re­duced oil im­ports and con­sump­tion de­spite clo­sure of CNG is amaz­ing, he said, adding that re­mit­tances are cov­er­ing food im­port bill worth 4.5 bil­lion dol­lars of which ed­i­ble oil takes the ma­jor share of over two bil­lion dol­lars. He said that a decade back ex­ports were three times higher than re­mit­tances but now this sec­tor has been dam­aged there­fore work­ers re­mit­tances should be pre­ferred which ex­port sec­tor should be over­hauled. Afzal said that re­mit­tances have been in­creased by six per­cent in the first seven months of the cur­rent fis­cal which is a healthy trend.

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