DUBAI: To curb hundi and hawala systems of money transfer, State Bank of Pakistan is set to make it mandatory for overseas Pakistani’s to have a bank account in the country for remitting money legally.
This was stated in a Pakistan Remittance Summit 2017 held in Dubai on December 8th by SBP’s Executive Director Syed Irfan Ali. The summit was organized by SBP in partnership with Finance Ministry, National Bank of Pakistan, MCB Bank Limited, United Bank Limited and National Bank of Pakistan, reported a English daily.
Mr. Ali said Pakistan can receive over $30 billion via foreign remittances if bottlenecks and challenges being faced by bank and money transfer exchanges get removed.
He added remittances constituted 6 percent share of Pakistan’s GDP, but conveyed optimism that its rise could bolster the country’s economy. Executive Director SBP admitted Hundi and de-risking were significant impediments in increasing remittances.
Furthermore, Irfan said Pakistani’s going overseas for studies and jobs would be required to have bank accounts in the country for account holders receiving remittances. This would allow overseas Pakistani’s to send foreign exchange through the banking sector.
The summit participants were informed by SEVP & Group Chief, Payment Services & Digital Banking Group of National Bank of Pakistan, Mudassir H. Khan that 50 percent of total foreign remittances were received from Pakistani’s residing in UAE and Saudi Arabia.
He added Pakistan witnessed remittances rise of more than 12 percent in the past decade or so, which was the highest globally.