Fate of $ 11 billion remittances

May I ask the Ministry of Finance and State Bank of Pakistan, what is the exact figure of of foreign remittances sent to Pakistan annually by the expatriate Pakistanis working abroad. This is not a small amount that we are talking of, because according to Government of Pakistan these are to the tune of $11 billion every year, just through regular banking channels. It seems that most of this foreign exchange is being shifted to foreign bank accounts by the corrupt mafia of powerful elite in the political, and civil and armed bureaucracy and our non taxpaying traders or feudal elite. It is time that an audit was carried out of every dollar, euro or pound sent to Pakistan by the loyal and patriotic middle class expatriates. Had this large amount of remittances been regulated our forex reserves would have been much higher. No underdeveloped country in the world, which is facing shortage of funds, can allow unrestricted flow of foreign exchange out of country as has been going on for many decades in Pakistan. In the past three years, this outflow of hard foreign currency has peaked to astronomical heights. Unfortunately, the FBR and SBP are hostage to the corruption mafia, not only within these two state institutions, but also the powerful establishment dominated by those holding dual nationalities. This only highlights the importance of the bill presented by MNA Hiraj to enact laws to prohibit dual nationality holders, from holding any representative status in NA, Senate or key assignments in the government. RIAZ CHAUDHRY, Dubai, April 27.

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