KARACHI: Pakistan has received $ 1.25 billion in Roshan Digital Accounts (RDA) since its inception in September 2020, while admissions have grown faster than in the initial quarter.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) confirmed on Friday that total inflows into the GDR reached $ 1.250 billion and said inflows increased after hitting the $ 1 billion mark. The inflow in the first seven months (September-April) was $ 1 billion while May received $ 250 million, reflecting the increased inflow.

The financial sector estimates that the country could receive up to $ 1 billion over the next four months provided the influx continues at the same rate.

The RDA has crossed $ 500 million in the five months since September, which was widely appreciated by the prime minister.

The RDA was launched for Non-Resident Pakistanis (NRP) to allow them to remotely open bank accounts in Pakistan through online digital portals without physically visiting branches.

Using their RDAs, PNRs can now benefit from digital banking services, including access to online banking, domestic money transfer, utility bills and tuition payment in Pakistan, as well as investments in government bills, the stock market and the real estate sector with the option of full repatriation.

This was a major initiative of SBP in collaboration with commercial banks operating in Pakistan. The main objective of the initiative is to attract millions of Pakistanis living abroad by offering much higher deposit yields compared to the yields of developed economies.

Along with the RDA account, SBP launched a savings certificate named Naya Pakistan Certificate with the aim of boosting the Pakistani economy by attracting foreign investment.

Buyers can own the certificate in US dollars with the highest interest rate of 7pc and in rupees with the highest rate of 11pc provided the investment is made for five years.

Several banks have stepped up their efforts to attract Pakistanis from abroad as they open GDRs following the guidelines of the State Bank.

The State Bank’s earlier efforts to attract foreign investment through the sale of domestic bonds (Treasury bills and Pakistani investment bonds) yielded rapid results until the first quarter of 2020, as they attracted 3, $ 4 billion, but the emergence of Covid in mid-March led to divestments.

Posted in Dawn, le 5 June 2021