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February 13, 2021

Roshan Digital Accounts receive $480mln in five months

Business

February 13, 2021

KARACHI: Foreign exchange inflows under the Roshan Digital Account (RDA) have reached more than $480 million in five months, showing Pakistani diaspora’s trust on the initiative introduced to improve their financial connection with their homeland, the central bank governor said on Friday.

“Around 86,000 RDA accounts have been opened so far. We have received over $480 million from around 97 countries around the globe and $327 million have been invested in Naya Pakistan Certificates (NPCs),” said State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Reza Baqir at the launch event of the RDA initiative joined by Habib Metropolitan Bank Limited.

Baqir told the audiences that within the short span of four-five months non-resident Pakistanis have invested $165 million in the conventional NPCs, while investments in the shariah-compliant version of the NPCs have reached $145 million.

The SBP governor said the performance of the RDA initiative so far has been very encouraging, with the number of accounts and amounts remitted and investment increasing every day.

The governor said RDA and NCPs have helped attract investments by the overseas Pakistanis and are playing an important role to support the foreign exchange reserves of the country. This initiative is expected to become a long-term source of forex inflows in the country, he added.

The SBP’s governor, however, advised the Habib Metro that has recently joined this initiative that it must establish a dedicated RDA team to fix the issues that can be faced by the customers.

Moreover, the initiatives and the programs, where the CEOs got engaged give positive results. So, the Habib Metro’s chief and other heads of the banks must take personal interest in this scheme to make it successful and deliverable.

He said the improvement in the country’s foreign exchange balance sheets will help paint a positive outlook for Pakistan’s economy, which will result in receiving more inflows from overseas Pakistanis in times to come.

“Today the current account is in surplus due to the implementation of the market-based exchange rate regime—a key institutional change. The increase in the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves to $13 billion, from $7 billion is not because of foreign loans.”

Baqir said the flexible exchange rate system proved as an effective way to absorb external shocks, in the toughest times of the coronavirus pandemic. Pakistan’s exchange rate has not been hit hard by the adverse impact of the pandemic.

The governor said NRPs are continually increasing remittances through RDA. He went on to add that SBP, together with the government, is working on innovative initiatives to provide attractive avenues of investment and saving for Overseas Pakistanis.

RDA, launched in September last year, provides innovative banking solutions to millions of non-resident Pakistanis and resident Pakistanis (RPs) with declared offshore assets, who need a secure and convenient facility, to undertake banking-payments, fund-transfers and investment activities in Pakistan, remotely, from abroad.

Habib Metro President & Chief Executive Officer Mohsin Ali Nathani said around 100 million accounts have been opened under RDA through the bank and $5 million have been received in recent few days.

Nathani said Habib Metro and Habib Bank AG Zurich are committed to serving our customers regardless of where they are in the world. They can use the RDA program to invest in attractive opportunities while contributing to the progress and development of their homeland.

We believe that the RDA will prove to be a game-changer for Pakistan, as it will give tremendous impetus to the national economy.