Karachi, Jan 30, 2015 — The government intends to issue bonds to raise $1 billion worth of foreign exchange from expatriate Pakistanis to expand the housing sector in the country.
The announcement was made Friday by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his surprise visit to Karachi Stock Exchange. Finance minister Ishaq Dar was also present.
The idea of $1 billion fund was first floated in December 2013 by some Pakistani professionals living in Riyadh — capital of Saudi Arabia where more than 2.2 million Pakistani expatriates live and remit more than $5 billion yearly — almost 34 percent of total remittances received by the government every year.
The idea was further discussed with several visiting government officials and lawmakers including former Governor PUnjab Chaudhury Sarwar during his December trip to the kingdom’s capital, it has been learnt.
According to an estimate. over 7 million Pakistanis live and work overseas and sent home over $14.5 billion last year. In 2015 the amount is expected to reach $15 billion with some analysts saying it could even cross $15 billion mark.
Nawaz Sharif’s announcement of issuing bonds for overseas Pakistanis comes a day after the resignation of Punjab Governor Chaudhury Sarwar — an expatriate Pakistani who gave up British citizenship to become Governor.
According to reports, the former Governor Punjab had ambitious plans for the expatriates and was disappointed that he was unable to do anything for them while in office for 18 months. He apologized to the Overseas-Pakistanis. (MAMOSA Report)