• PM praises overseas Pakistanis, SBP for achieving the milestone
• SBP may launch two more schemes by end of month

KARACHI: Inflows of foreign exchange through the Roshan Digital Account (RDA) crossed the $1 billion mark creating space for the architects of the products to introduce more such attractions for the overseas Pakistanis during this month.

“The fund inflows through RDA have crossed $1bn in just over seven months,” the State Bank in a tweet stated, adding that an event was being planned to thank the overseas Pakistanis for their extraordinary response to the initiative.

Prime Minister Imran Khan also appreciated the overseas Pakistanis and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) for their support to improve the country’s foreign exchange inflows.

“Alhamdulillah, funds received through RDA have crossed $1bn. I would like to thank our overseas Pakistanis for their overwhelming response; also appreciate the efforts of SBP and banks for achieving this significant milestone in such a short period,” the premier tweeted on Saturday.

Since its inauguration in September 2020, RDA inflows have been increasing every month. More banks have been joining the RDA scheme. Banking sources said so far about 20 banks have joined RDA and are making efforts for its success.

Financial sector believes the higher inflow in RDA is a sign of improved confidence of overseas Pakistanis in the economy, as the country succeeded in increasing its foreign exchange reserve and regained current account surplus from huge $20bn deficit in FY18. The current account is surplus with $959m at the end of third quarter of FY21. They said 26 per cent higher remittances this year are also encouraging for both the overseas Pakistanis and the State Bank to initiate new products.

Two more schemes

Sources in financial sector said the SBP had also finalised two new schemes to attract overseas Pakistanis. Under the new schemes, “Roshan Apni Car” will be introduced with a number of facilitating features.

Another scheme, “Roshan Samaji Khidmat”, has been designed to collect donations from overseas Pakistanis for charity purposes as it is believed that hundreds of millions of dollars are sent to Pakistan for charity purposes from across the world. These donations would come under an SBP scheme.

Sources said both the schemes would be launched at the end of April. However, financial sector experts said both schemes should have been launched at least two months before Ramazan: the holy month attracts the highest amount of donations, charity and remittances.

The inflow of $1bn through the RDA constituted mostly by Naya Pakistan Certificates while over 100 countries have been participating to open accounts.

Out of $1bn, NPCs attracted $645 million. The NPCs offers 10.5 per cent return on one year and 11 per cent for five years while it also offers 9.5 per cent for three months and 10 per cent for six months. The offers on NPCs are highly attractive for overseas Pakistanis as they could hardly get 1.5 to 2 per cent per annum if they keep money in banks in the United States or Europe.

Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2021

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