Friday, September 16, 2011

Expatriates of the world, unite!

Expatriates of the world, unite! | Blog | DAWN.COM

In the last fiscal year alone, overseas Pakistanis remitted over $11 billion, which accounts for almost 7 per cent of the national economy. On the other hand, total tax revenue generated in Pakistan accounts for 10 per cent of the GDP. Since expatriates contribute such huge sums to their motherland, it may be prudent to formalise expatriates’ role in securing Pakistan’s faltered economy.

One can propose reserved seats for expatriates in Pakistan’s Senate or the Parliament, or permanent representation in the Planning Commission or the State Bank to secure their sustained contributions to the economy. If this proposition seems farfetched, then expatriates may consider launching a development bank or a credit union to gain more control over remittances to Pakistan, which are expected to hit $14 billion next year.
Remittances pouring into Pakistan far exceed the social sector spending by the federal government. In the recent federal budget, the development expenditure is approximated at $5.2 billion, which is again much less than the $11 billion in remittances. Furthermore, remittances are an order of magnitude higher than what Pakistan receives in aid from development banks and donors for social sector spending...

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