Remittances go 31pc up in July & August: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the country has registered an increase of 31 percent in remittances in the first two months of the current fiscal year as compared to the same period of the last year.
In a tweet on Monday, the Prime Minister said that overseas Pakistanis sent US $2,095 million in remittances in the month of August this year which is 24.4 percent higher than the corresponding period of the last year. He said the country received a record $2,768 million in remittances in the month of July this year.
“Overseas Pakistanis sent $2,095 million in remittances in August 2020 – 24.4% higher than Aug. last year – in addition to the record $2,768 million in July 2020. For the first two months of this fiscal year our remittances are up 31% over the same period last year. Alhamdulillah,” he tweeted.
Earlier in the day, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said that remittances from overseas Pakistanis rose by 24.4 percent to $2.095 billion during August as compared to last year’s corresponding period.
According to figures released by the central bank, remittances reached an unprecedented level of $7.3 billion over the last three months, which are 37.2 percent higher than the same period of the last year.
The SBP said: “Efforts under the Pakistan Remittances Initiative (PRI) and the gradual re-opening of businesses in major host countries such as the Middle East, Europe and United States contributed to this increase.”
The top three originating countries for remittances in August were: Saudi Arabia ($0.593 billion), United Arab Emirates ($0.410 billion), and the United Kingdom ($0.302 billion).
On a month-on-month basis, remittances were 24.3 percent lower than the record level of remittances of $ 2.768 billion posted in July, mainly reflecting the usual seasonal decline in the post Eidul Azha period.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that reforming the tax system to make it fair and transparent is the top priority of the government.
The Prime Minister said this while chairing a high-level meeting on tax system reforms here on Monday.
He said a fair and transparent tax system is of seminal importance in improving the efficiency of the government, ensuring effective governance and welfare of the people. The Prime Minister said the tax system has been changed time to time in such a manner that the entire tax burden falls on the general public and small businessmen.
The Prime Minister stressed the need to promote tax culture and simplify the taxation process. He stressed the need for removing black sheep from the Federal Board of Revenue to address reservations of masses. He emphasised on the automation process for refunds, tax determination and its collection.
The Prime Minister ordered to simplify the tax forms for small enterprises. He directed the FBR to set deadlines for achieving tax targets and submit a report on the reforms process to the PM office on a regular basis. He also called for devising an effective mechanism at the country’s borders to halt smuggling activity.
The forum presented various proposals to the Prime Minister regarding tax system reforms including rectification of flaws, elimination of tax evasion and corruption of tax officials.
The Prime Minister welcomed the proposals and directed the minister for industry and production and advisers on finance and trade to take a detailed look at them so that the workable roadmap can be implemented.
Meanwhile, condemning the gang-rape incident on Lahore-Sialkot motorway, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that the incident has shaken the entire nation and criminals like “motorway rapists” should be hanged publicly.
In an interview with a private news channel, the Prime Minister said that motorway gang-rape incident has hit entire nation on a personal level and all pedophiles and rapists should be chemically castrated.
“Lahore motorway has shaken the entire nation. We all identify women as our sisters or daughters. This incident has hit us all on a personal level.”
“I personally think pedophiles and rapists must be hanged publicly but I’m told that we have international repercussions. European Union’s GSP status for trade with Pakistan will be affected by public hangings. Hence I think chemical castration must be conducted on those criminals,” added the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister said that the motorway incident would not have happened if main culprit Abid Ali, who was arrested in 2013, had been awarded strict punishment. “Hence, it has become necessary that we should chemically castrate rapists and maintain registries of such criminals.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that development of Rashakai Special Economic Zone (SEZ) will help boost industrialisation and create job opportunities in the country.
Addressing the ceremony of Rashakai SEZ development agreement between Pakistan and Chinese companies here on Monday, the Prime Minister termed the initiative as a golden opportunity for industrial development of the country.
The Prime Minister said the completion of this economic zone will promote ease of doing business in the country and facilitate the local and foreign investors. Highlighting the strategic significance of Rashakai Special Economic Zone, he said the development of this zone and peace in Afghanistan will help develop connectivity to Central Asia that can change the destiny of the region.
The Prime Minister said that Uzbek leadership has shown interest in developing the rail track from Mazaar Shareef in Afghanistan to Peshawar and it can trigger a revolution for industrial growth in the country.
He said that the mega Main Line-1 (ML-1) project will also help promote local businesses as it will reduce the traveling time between Karachi and Lahore to just eight hours.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that it is the priority of the government as well as a collective responsibility to ensure that every child can go to school safely to learn.
In a tweet on Monday, the Prime Minister said, “Tomorrow we will welcome millions of children back to school.” He said the government has worked to ensure that school operations are aligned with public health safety on COVID-19.
The educational institutions that were closed in March after the outbreak of COVID-19 are set to reopen across the country from Tuesday (today). In the first phase, students of 9th and 10th standard will join the classes ensuring social distancing. Wearing masks for teachers, students and the other staff of the schools has been declared mandatory. Students are also advised to sanitize their hands from time to time during school time.
Meanwhile, Chairman China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority, Lt Gen (Retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa has said that Rashakai Special Economic Zone (SEZ) project will speed up the industrialisation in Pakistan.
Taking to Twitter before the agreement signing ceremony for the development of the Rashakai SEZ, Asim Bajwa said that China Road and Bridge Construction Company is the development partner with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for this particular project.
Earlier, Chairman Board of Investment (BoI) Atif R Bokhari on Sunday said that Rashakai SEZ will pave the way for the establishment of new zones. Such “economic zones will lead to a prosperous and industrial Pakistan”, Bokhari added, noting that quite a lot of progress has been made in the zones established under the CPEC. – TLTP

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