islamabad
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar appreciated the Overseas Pakistanis on their overwhelming support and participation in Finance Division-pioneered Pakistan Remittances Initiative (PRI) Scheme under which $13.3 billion have been remitted in 9 months (from July-March) of year 2014-15.
Remittances of $13.3 billion as of end March 2014-15 not only showed a 15pc increase over the same period last fiscal year but also revealed that increasing number of Overseas Pakistanis were sending remittances through formal banking channels, the Minister noted while chairing a meeting on the PRI. The Finance Minister recalled his meeting with Presidents of Banks during visit to Karachi last month, where he had announced the new PRI arrangement under which banks would be paid 20 Riyal on a minimum remittance of $200 w.e.f July 1, 2015. Further he had also announced that during the period from April to July 2015, banks would be paid the arrears on account of remittance fee. The Finance Ministry has already released Rs. 3 billion amount for payment to the Banks in April. An amount of Rs 3.8 billion would be paid till end of May and another Rs. 3 billion in July, the Finance Minister added.
 The meeting noted with satisfaction that announcement of new PRI scheme and payment of arrears had spurred immediate growth in remittances. The Minister on this occasion asked the Finance Division’s team, the SBP and Commercial Banks to keep up efforts for further growth in remittances under PRI scheme. He praised efforts of the concerned Finance Division officials, State Bank of Pakistan and the designated Banks for making a joint effort to make PRI a true success.