ISLAMABAD: 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 for total import.
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.
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.
Afzal said oil import bill has been reduced to $ 12 billion but it was not improved consumption which indicate 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 of which edible oil takes the major share of over $ 2 billion.
He said that a decade back, exports were three times higher than remittances but now this sector has been damaged. Remittances have been increased by six percent in the first seven months of the current fiscal year, which is a healthy trend, he added.
Government should facilitate remittances so that it can cover total import bill including medicine, food group, machinery, textile, chemicals, transport, agriculture, tea and mild etc, he demanded.
Source: Daily Times