POEPA: (Remittances sufficient to cover oil, food import bill: POEPA)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Overseas Employment Promoters Association (POEPA) Chairman Chaudhry Muhammad Afzal on Sunday said remittances should be increased which are presently sufficient to cover oil, food and LNG import bill but insufficient to cater for total import bill within a decade.

Proper attention and provision of enabling environment can help country grow remittances to a level where it would be sufficient to cover total import bill which would be a great breakthrough, he said.

He said Remittances were enough to cover oil import bill before the plunge which is to result in 23 percent drop in the import bill that will also shrink deficit.

He said oil import bill has been reduced to twelve billion dollars but it was not improved consumption which indicate economic trend and preferences of refiners.

Reduced oil imports and consumption despite closure of CNG is amazing, he said, adding that remittances are covering food import bill worth 4.5 billion dollars of which edible oil takes the major share of over two billion dollars.

He said that a decade back exports were three times higher than remittances but now this sector has been damaged therefore workers remittances should be preferred which export sector should be overhauled.

He said that remittances have been increased by six percent in the first seven months of the current fiscal which is a healthy trend.

Government should facilitate remittances so that it can cover total import bill including medicine, food group, machinery, textile, chemicals, transport, agriculture, tea and mild etc, he demanded.