Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday inaugurated the Sohni Dharti Remittance Program (SDRP) offered jointly by the State Bank of Pakistan, Ministry of Finance and financial institutions in a ceremony held at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad.
The Prime Minister thanked the overseas Pakistanis for reposing confidence in the bright future of their homeland by sending record high remittances of over $29 billion in fiscal year FY21 and continuing the trend in FY22.
He termed the launch of SDRP as a tribute to the Pakistani workers abroad who have been contributing in the development of the country by sending their hard-earned money back to Pakistan.
SDRP is an innovative program designed to incentivize Pakistani workers abroad to send remittances to Pakistan through banks and exchange companies and earn reward points. These reward points could then be used to avail different benefits offered by partner organizations. SDRP can be accessed conveniently from anywhere in the world through a mobile application.
Under the SDRP, if an individual sends remittance to the limit of $10,000 or equivalent in one fiscal year, then he/she will be awarded one percent as a reward and allotted a green card category.
Similarly, for remittances sent by an individual between $10,000 and $30,000 or equivalent, the remitter would be given 1.25 percent as a reward and classified into the gold card category. Lastly, for remittances of more than $30,000 or equivalent, he/she will be awarded 1.5 percent as a reward and allotted a platinum card category.
The reward points can be redeemed by remitters and their beneficiaries for availing free of cost services from eight participating public sector entities (PSEs) at the moment. The services offered include international tickets by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and the provision to pay for extra luggage on international flights of PIA. Along with this, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has allowed Overseas Pakistanis to pay duty on the import of mobile phones and vehicles.
The National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA) will provide services related to the renewal of CNIC/NICOP and along with this, they can renew their passports without any hassle. Overseas Pakistanis can avail life insurance premium payment through state life insurance services and a facility to pay schools’ fee of Overseas Pakistanis Foundation schools.
Moreover, overseas Pakistanis will be able to make purchases through a network of utility stores across the country. Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) will provide preferential services to overseas Pakistanis under the umbrella of this program by installing separate counters and provide priority clearance whereas Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will ensure the placement of standees and banners for the promotion of this initiative.
Earlier, State Bank of Pakistan Governor Dr Reza Baqir in his welcome address expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Prime Minister for his continuous interest and guidance in developing ways to facilitate the overseas Pakistanis and workers abroad.
The governor termed the launch of SDRP another step towards digitalization and financial inclusion that would play a significant role in the digital onboarding of overseas Pakistanis and their beneficiaries in Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin congratulated SBP, PSEs and other relevant stakeholders for implementing the SDRP as a technology-based solution.