ICCI for channelizing remittances towards productive activities

  • January 14, 2016
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called upon the government to take policy measures and offer good incentives for channelizing the remittances towards the productive activities that would help in promoting business activities and increasing economic growth of the country.
Atif Ikram Sheikh, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that remittances were on the rise in the country as overseas Pakistanis remitted over US$ 9.7 billion during the first six months (July to December) of current financial year showing an increase of over 6% compared to the same period of preceding year. He said if this trend continued, annual remittances could reach US$20 billion this year. He stressed that government should take concrete measures to develop required expertise and institutional mechanism to directly channelize the remittances towards promoting business and economic activities. 
He said remittances were an important source of economic wellbeing for a large number of families in the country and were helping in boosting consumption that benefited our industries. However, remittances could play significant role in strengthening the economy if their major portion was channeled towards savings and investment. 
He said due to encouraging policies, many expatriate Chinese and Indians have returned to their home countries to start business ventures and Government of Pakistan should also take necessary measures to encourage and train overseas Pakistanis for engaging them in business activities in the country. 
Atif Ikram Sheikh said some studies have shown that many Sub-Saharan African countries have improved GDP and economic growth rate by diverting remittances towards savings and investment, therefore, it was high time that government should accelerate efforts to enhance the share of remittances towards SMEs in the country. 
He said Pakistan was receiving more remittances than foreign direct investment and development assistance, thus increasing their portion channeled into savings instruments would help in developing capital markets and providing more funds for productive endeavors.