Roshan digital accounts attract $400m in four months

Published February 3, 2021
A senior banker said the inflows were encouraging, but slow as per the expectations of the government and the State Bank. — AFP/File
A senior banker said the inflows were encouraging, but slow as per the expectations of the government and the State Bank. — AFP/File

KARACHI: Foreign exchange inflows through the Roshan Digital Accounts (RDAs) reached $400 million within four months, reflecting growing confidence in the State Bank’s new initiative launched by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sept 10, 2020.

RDAs aim to attract millions of Pakistanis living abroad by offering much higher returns on deposits compared to the returns in developed economies.

“So far the total inflows in RDAs have reached $400 million,” the SBP said in response to a query on Tuesday.

A senior banker said the inflows were encouraging, but slow as per the expectations of the government and the State Bank. However, attracting $400m within four months could be a good replacement of hot money.

The country had received about $3.4 billion in the domestic bonds before March FY20. The entire amount of $3.4bn landed in FY20. Most of the foreign investment which was termed hot money left the country in the last quarter of FY20 following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The SBP also said that so far the total number of accounts opened for RDAs reached 80,000. It was not known Pakistanis from which country and region opened the highest number of accounts.

However, banking experts and currency dealers say that most of the accounts were opened by the Pakistanis living in the Gulf region which provides 65 per cent of the total remittances to the country.

The RDAs have been launched for Non-Resident Pakistanis’ (NRPs) to enable them to remotely open bank accounts in Pakistan through online digital portals without physically visiting branches.

Using their RDAs, NRPs can now avail digital banking facilities, including access to online banking, domestic funds transfer, utility bills and tuition fee payment in Pakistan, as well as investments in government bills, stock exchange, and real estate sector with option of full repatriation.

“If the current account remains surplus with an improved foreign exchange reserves, the inflow through RDAs could be higher in the second half of the current fiscal FY21,” said the banker.

Along with the RDA account, the SBP launched the Naya Pakistan Savings Certificate with the aim of boosting country’s economy by attracting foreign investments.

The buyers can own the certificate in US dollar with the highest interest rate of 7pc and in Pak rupees with the highest rate of 11pc per annum provided the investment is made for 5 years.

Banks offer both Islamic and conventional accounts and in various eligible currencies (and not just USD) as per the relevant rules and regulations of SBP.

Published in Dawn, February 3rd, 2021

Now you can follow Dawn Business on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook for insights on business, finance and tech from Pakistan and across the world.

Opinion

Editorial

Mianwali raid
Updated 02 Feb, 2023

Mianwali raid

The military needs to share intelligence with civilian agencies to neutralise the militant menace nationwide.
Corruption unlimited
02 Feb, 2023

Corruption unlimited

PAKISTAN’S consistent slide on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index over the last several...
Women police officers
02 Feb, 2023

Women police officers

IN a heartening development, a second female police officer has been appointed as DPO in Attock, weeks after the...
Road to perdition
Updated 01 Feb, 2023

Road to perdition

This is also the time of reckoning for those who sowed the seeds of a disastrous policy against militants.
Transport tragedies
01 Feb, 2023

Transport tragedies

TWO tragedies over the weekend illustrate the weak protocols governing the safety of transport in Pakistan. In fact,...
Disqualifying Jam Awais
01 Feb, 2023

Disqualifying Jam Awais

IT appears that there may be some kind of small punishment after all for PPP lawmaker Jam Awais, who was pardoned ...