KARACHI: Currency dealers have brought $13 billion in Pakistan in the past eight years, including $1 billion since August 2018, to stabilise the country’s foreign currency reserves, the dealers claim.
“Dealers contribute $200-300 million a month to the country’s reserves through commercial banks,” said Pakistan Forex Association President Malik Bostan while briefing Finance Minister Asad Umar.
“They (dealers) have the potential to bring up to $1 billion a month,” he told The Express Tribune after meeting the finance minister and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director General Bashir Memon in Islamabad recently.
A delegation of currency dealers, headed by Bostan, asked the minister that the government should offer Rs2 per dollar in rebate to attract higher remittances from overseas Pakistanis. The incentive would help currency dealers to realise their true potential and contribute maximum dollars to the country’s foreign currency reserves, it said.
“The government is paying Rs6 per dollar to commercial banks for the job (of attracting remittances),” Bostan pointed out.
Pakistan receives around $20 billion in worker remittances a year. The receipts have remained a big source of stabilising the foreign currency reserves and helped finance imports and debt repayments.
The central bank estimated the number of Pakistanis working in overseas markets at 10.1 million in calendar year 2017.