KARACHI: The State Bank reported on Thursday that the Roshan Digital Account (RDA) on Dec 9 received $7.7 million – the highest amount in a single day since the initiative was taken.
“Yesterday, inward remittances from overseas Pakistanis into Roshan Digital Account rose to $7.7 million, their highest ever daily amount,” the State Bank tweeted on Thursday. To date, total inward remittances into RDA have reached $139.4 million, with $81 million invested in Naya Pakistan Certificates (NPCs),” the SBP said in a tweet.
The RDA was inaugurated by Prime Minister Imran Khan in September this year with the hopes of attracting overseas Pakistanis.
Bankers were hopeful of attracting a big amount for RDA and NPC as the schemes provide much higher returns with a number of facilities to account holders.
However, three months on, some bankers have found RDA to be disappointing.
The Roshan account provides innovative banking solutions for millions of non-resident Pakistanis (NRPs) seeking to undertake fund transfers, bill payments, and investment activities in Pakistan. The account holders can buy and sell properties and do business via these digital accounts.
However, bankers said the main issue is that thousands of Pakistanis living abroad are still struggling to open the accounts. “Not because it is difficult to open but most of the workers in Gulf countries are not literate enough to open and operate these accounts,” they opined. Pakistan receives about 65 per cent remittances from the Gulf region.
Recently, SBP Governor Reza Baqir visited the region to create awareness about the digital accounts and its benefits. Bankers believe that the true picture would be more understandable after a year. However, they said accounts holders of Pakistani banks never lost money and it has a very strong track record. This confidence in Pakistani banks could bring more money into the RDA and NPCs.
The customer can choose from a foreign currency or rupee dominated account as well as both. Funds in these accounts will be fully repatriable, without the need for any regulatory approval.
The NPC is an initiative of the Ministry of Finance and administered by the SBP to offer attractive investment opportunities to overseas Pakistanis and resident Pakistanis with assets held abroad. These certificates are available both in conventional and Sharia-compliant versions. NPCs are sovereign instruments, denominated in US dollar and Pak rupee can only be purchased through RDAs.
Published in Dawn, December 11th, 2020