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Bahi, you have asked a very good question. It is very important for us to save money, but
it is even more important to "Save" the money that we have already saved.
You are right to look around, when the rate of return are being reduced on the saving schemas. So first let us look at what we are actually talking about. The 12% return that you are getting is subject to 10% wealth tax. Which essentially means that you get 12% - 1.2% tax = Your actual return is 10.8%.
Inflation in Pakistan is a funny number, but I will bet you anything that it is higher than 10%. So in real terms you have lost money by keeping it in the bank!.
Sorry to give you bad news, but this is just part of the story. You earned your money in US$ s (I know you it was Dirhams, but the rate has been fixed for years), and in Dollar terms you have lost even more. How much more?..
1$ = Rs% Depreciation
May-01Rs61.65 7.03% Average 10.00%
About 10% annually, and we are already down 7.03% this year!
So what is the solution?. Very simple, open a US$ account in Pakistan, bite the bullet and convert your savings into US $ and try to get the best rate that you can. I am not sure what the Pakistani banks are paying on US $, but even if it is 3-4%, remember it is in $ and you are still ahead of the game.
Which leads me to another point. Dear Pakistani brothers, if you are close to any big city and can open a $ account. Please use that to transfer your money to Pakistan.
Here is how it works. You transfer US$ into your account in Pakistan. Your family is able to withdraw US$ cash from the bank, exchange it at the Market rate at any exchange.
The benefits of this system are simple. #1 You are not breaking the law by using
Hawala or Hundi, #2 The rate you will get will always be better than what a Pak Rupee
Draft or the Hundi will give you, #3 Save the receipts and income tax can not touch you,
#4 and most importantly you will help your country!
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