PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday thanked Pakistani diaspora for keeping remittances above $2 billion for the sixth consecutive month.
“I want to thank our overseas Pakistanis for yet another record-breaking month of remittances in Dec: $2.4 bn,” the Prime Minister wrote on his official Twitter handle.
He said that for the first time in Pakistani remittances have been above $2 billion for six consecutive months. “Total for 6 months of this fiscal year $14.2 bn – a 24.9% growth over last yr [year],” he further wrote on the microblogging site.
Meanwhile, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Friday that inflows of workers remittances have registered 25 percent growth during the first half of the current fiscal year. This is the highest half yearly growth since Fiscal Year 2007.
On a cumulative basis, workers’ remittances reached an unprecedented level of $14.2 billion during the first half of FY21, 25 percent higher than the same period last year.
Workers’ remittances maintained their strong momentum for the seventh consecutive month in December. Remittances rose further to $2.4 billion, growing by 16.2 percent on a year-on-year basis and 4.2 percent on a month-on-month basis.
Remittance inflows have been well-diversified. Most of the inflows during H1-FY21 were sourced from Saudi Arabia ($4.0 billion), United Arab Emirates ($3.0 billion), United Kingdom ($1.9 billion) and the United States ($1.2 billion).
This strong growth in workers’ remittances is attributable to the increased use of formal channels on the back of sustained efforts by the government and SBP to encourage inflows through official channels as well as limited cross-border travel due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, together with favorable foreign exchange market dynamics.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed to ensure sufficient availability of essential items at affordable rates and take indiscriminate action against elements involved in profiteering and hoarding.
The Prime Minister issued these directions on Friday while chairing a review meeting regarding sugar prices and availability of the sweetener in the country.
The meeting was informed that action has been started against people involved in weighing less than the actual weight of the sugarcane and undue profiteering. In this connection, 79 people have been arrested, while 190 cases have been registered.
The meeting was apprised that a virtual sitting of commissioners of all divisions and deputy commissioners of all the districts is organised on a daily basis to monitor sugar prices and availability of the commodity in sufficient quantity.
The chief secretary Punjab briefed the meeting via video link about sugarcane crop, crushing season and available stock of sugar in the province.
Earlier, the price of sugar went up to Rs4 per kilogram in the country on Tuesday last as the rate of 100-kilogram sack soared to Rs8,300 in the wholesale market.
The per kg price of sugar in the wholesale market increased from Rs79 per kilo to Rs83. According to the Karachi Wholesale Grocers Association spokesperson, the price of sugar has increased by Rs11 per kg in the past 20 days. He said that sugar is being sold at Rs90 per kg in the retail market.
Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh Monday chaired the meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) and directed provinces to check the possibilities of hoarding and black marketing especially wheat and sugar to ensure uninterrupted provision at fair prices.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the government consistently remained focused on provision of relief to the poor and labour class during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Prime Minister said this on Friday while chairing a briefing on the decision-making process and social and economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
The Prime Minister said the pandemic adversely hit the global economy, but with the blessing of Almighty Allah and timely measures of the government, Pakistan successfully tackled this difficult situation and the entire world is acknowledging this.
The Prime Minister was given a detailed briefing on findings of a survey conducted to evaluate social and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
It was told that the data regarding employment, income, remittances, food, health and measures to face challenges of the COVID-19 has been collected in the survey. It was told that in the beginning, more families were affected by the pandemic, but this ratio declined in July last year due to timely measures and smart lockdown policy of the government.
Member Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) informed that the bureau has evolved a digital system for timely decision-making and provision of real time data to price control committees, federal and provincial governments and district administrations regarding prices of essential items in the country.
Appreciating the system, evolved under Prime Minister’s vision of Digital Pakistan, Imran Khan said the new system will help monitor prices of essential items and gauge performance of the district administration. He said the system will also ensure transparency in the decision-making process. – TLTP