The Federal Minister for Communications and Postal Services, Murad Saeed, said that Pakistan Post was planning to launch a Foreign Remittance Initiative (FRI) for Overseas Pakistanis to offer them a free money transfer service.
The minister, during a press conference at Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Postal Staff College, said the proposal had been sent to the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) for approval last month.
He noted that the initiative would enable Pakistani expatriates to send their hard-earned money to their loved ones at their doorstep with the help of the Pak-Post.
He said the FRI was aimed at encouraging overseas Pakistanis to remit their cash through legal means which would eventually lead to a boost in foreign exchange reserves of the country.
“Around $20 billion are being remitted via Hawala-Hundi, annually”, Murad claimed, adding that the prime objective of FRI was to curb this menace.
Highlighting his ministry’s last six months’ performance, Murad said that revolutionary measures had been taken to bring significant changes in the department, in line with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The minister said the volume of mail and revenue had increased, adding that in Express Post the traffic had gone to 4.5 million mail items from 3.2 million during the last six months of the current year as compared to the same period of the last year.
For Express mail, the revenue had increased to Rs. 291 million from Rs. 188 million for the same period, he added.
Murad said that Pakistan post had met the revenue target in nine months due to an overwhelming response of the government and private sector which had switched to the national courier services for their courier needs.
Recently, SBP had agreed to support the digitization of more than 7,000 rural post offices to meet the goals of financial inclusion in rural areas, he said.
The minister said that the E-Commerce initiative had booked more than 46,000 packets, earning around 3.5 million in two months’ time.
Pakistan Post is currently negotiating a strategic partnership with Daraz.pk, which would allow Daraz to use the dept’s infrastructure for first and last mile delivery of packets and parcels, he said.
614 franchise post offices had been activated on NADRA e-sahulat kiosks.
The launching of EMS plus was a great step and had proven to be a fast, reliable and affordable service.
As many as 50,000 boxes of different sizes have been delivered so far to facilitate customers in the first phase to discourage an archaic method of parcel sending.
At least 80,000 more boxes had been provided in post offices, he added.