Outbound Remittance Data Sharing – Journal

THIS is in reference to the report “SBP tightens rules on the purchase of foreign currency” (December 20). The precarious levels of our foreign exchange reserves continue to be depleted due to our liberal import policy. In this context, we have the audacity to allow each individual to purchase and remit up to $100,000 in a calendar year. This equates to approximately 18 million rupees at the prevailing exchange rate.

In other words, a family of five adults can legally transport or send around Rs 90 million abroad for a year without any inconvenience or investigation. We do not know what logic would qualify it as a tightening of the rules relating to the purchase of foreign currency.

The news was silent on the conditions for purchasing foreign currency, such as taxpayer status, source of funds to be transferred, purpose of transfer, etc.

We frequently read that remittances abroad by expatriates are on the rise, but information regarding purchases and remittances sent to foreign countries by Pakistanis is almost never shared by officials or national media. The net remittance inflow/outflow figure is to be shared by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) with the public.

The policy related to the purchase of dollars should be reviewed, because we cannot afford to have simple cosmetic restrictions. In fact, what needs to be done is to tighten up the system and rid it of loopholes that can be abused by individuals and institutions.

Muhammad K. Sufi

Posted in Dawn, January 26, 2022

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