KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported that overseas Pakistanis deposited the largest amount of $7.7 million on Wednesday in their Roshan Digital Account at banks operating in Pakistan. This led to a significant increase in the total deposits that reached $139.4 million over the past three months.
PM Imran Khan had announced this initiative in September 2020. So far, over 50,000 overseas Pakistanis have opened their accounts in eight conventional and Shariah-compliant banks.
It is expected that The Roshan Digital Account (RDA) initiative, which offers innovative banking solutions to overseas Pakistanis and facilitates them in managing their investments like saving certificates, stock market and Real Estate, will attract $1 to 1.5 billion over the next six months and build the country’s foreign currency reserves.
“Yesterday (December 9th), inward remittances from overseas Pakistanis into #RoshanDigitalAccount rose to $7.7 million, their highest-ever daily amount. To date, total inward remittances into RDA have reached $139.4 million, with $81 million invested in Naya Pakistan (saving) Certificates,” the SBP announced on Thursday on its official Twitter handle.
“This is a very good start,” SBP Deputy Governor Murtaza Syed said in a Talk show last week.
“We at the State Bank of Pakistan and the eight banks (offering RDA) are monitoring developments in RDA on a daily basis. We want to create the momentum,” he added.
“The initiative is expected to attract $1-1.5 billion from overseas Pakistanis over the next six months,” Mr. Samiullah Tariq, Head of Research at the Pak-Kuwait Investment Company (PKIC) said while speaking to The Express Tribune.
“The initiative is expected to attract financially sound and established non-resident Pakistanis having built assets abroad. They will deposit and invest heavily once their trust is built in banking services and investment and divestment processes,” he said.
“The number of investors at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) had remained stagnant at 200,000 for the past 12 years. RDA has, however, helped attract around 50,000 new overseas investors in a small period of just three months,” Tariq discussed.
Many non-resident Pakistanis fall within the low or middle-income bracket, who usually send their savings to their families in Pakistan each month in the form of workers’ remittances. The cash inflow into Roshan Digital Accounts are also considered as remittances. They basically reflect the state’s foreign exchange reserves that reached $13.29 billion on December 4th, as per the latest report from the central bank. Also, an increase in reserves will build up the country’s import capacity.
“Any slowdown in receipt of (monthly) workers’ remittances will be offset by RDA…RDA will take remittances to unforeseen high levels,” said Mr. Muzammil Aslam, CEO Tangent Capital Advisers the other day.
Undoubtedly, Roshan Digital Account initiative has received an overwhelming response from overseas Pakistanis. The number of new accounts and amounts remitted are growing with every passing day.