Ishaq Dar meets banks representatives, assures charges for bank remittances would be cleared by July 2015

Islamabad, December 24, 2014 (PPI-OT): Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar here on Wednesday met senior representatives of leading Commercial Banks. Governor State Bank, Ashraf Wathra, Advisor Finance Division, Rana Asad Amin, Additional Secretaries of both Internal and External Finance and other senior officials were also present.

The meeting had a detailed overview of the PRI (Pakistan Remittances Initiative) expressing satisfaction on the steady increase in foreign remittances, specially eulogizing the contribution of overseas Pakistanis who were increasingly adopting banking channels to send remittances to Pakistan.

The Finance Minister on the occasion said that transfer charges for remittances amounting to Rs 12 billion, accrued up to June 2014, would be paid to the Commercial Banks in accordance with their due share by July 2015.

Out of this amount Rs 6 billion will be paid by January 2015 while 3 billion each would be paid in April and July 2015 respectively, clearing the backlog till June 2014. The Minister on this occasion also shared with the Banks officials, efforts of the government to boost the economy.

He made special mention of achieving the USD 15 billion forex reserves target which makes Pakistan qualify as an IBRD member and becoming eligible for better financial packages. Governor State Bank on the occasion impressed upon the banks to provide loans to private sector specially to SMEs. He expressed satisfaction on the growth of agricultural credit.

All the representatives attending the meeting thanked the Minister for facilitating payment of their shares in the transfer charges and giving a clear cut time line in this regard. They assured him of all out support in government’s efforts for economic development. They also congratulated the Minister on achieving the target of 15 billion dollar forex reserves.

PRI, it may be mentioned, is a joint venture of the Ministry of Finance and State Bank of Pakistan launched in 2009 offering incentives to overseas Pakistanis to remit their money through banking channels.

Under the scheme, the Federal Government undertakes to pay transfer charges for remittances above 100 dollars sent through authorized banks and exchange companies as listed in the State Bank of Pakistan. Ever since the launch of this scheme, the trend of sending remittances through hundi and havala has diminished and growth and improvement in banking services has been on the rise.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +92-51-9252323 and +92-51-9252324
Fax: +92-51-9252325 and +92-51-9252326

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