ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan on Thursday said that the government was committed to facilitating overseas Pakistanis in translating their financial contribution into the country’s economic growth.
He said that Roshan Digital Accounts, introduced for overseas Pakistanis to send money to Pakistan with ease, would help stabilise the local currency.
Addressing at an event by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to mark Roshan Digital Accounts crossing $500 million in foreign remittances, the prime minister said that the government’s strategy to involve the banking sector had yielded successful results in increasing foreign remittances.
The ceremony held at PM House was attended by Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, PM’s Adviser on Institutional Reforms Dr Ishrat Hussain, Commerce Advisor Abdul Razak Dawood, along with brand ambassadors of banks including squash legend Jahangir Khan, and former cricketers Rameez Raja and Waqar Younis.
It may be noted here that overseas Pakistanis from 97 countries have opened over 80,000 Roshan Digital Accounts and sent $500 million to the country in the last five months.
“روشن ڈیجیٹل اکاؤنٹ روپے کو مستحکم رکھنے میں اہم کردار ادا کرے گا۔”
وزیراعظم عمران خان،
روشن ڈیجیٹل اکاؤنٹ کے حوالے سے تقریب سے خطاب#RoshanDigitalAccount pic.twitter.com/5txk3CI4qG
— Prime Minister’s Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) February 18, 2021
The premier asked the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to maintain constant contact with Pakistani community abroad and set up a round-the-clock facilitation cell to help them with opening an account and related queries, further stressing over the need for a more focused and innovative advertisement campaign for marketing Roshan Digital Accounts on electronic media across the world.
He also urged banks to also focus on two more sectors, including the Naya Pakistan Housing project and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). “Both of these areas are important in improving the lives of the common man.”
The prime minister said that all of the country’s economic indicators were witnessing positive trends despite the coronavirus pandemic, adding that the volume of Pakistan’s exports crossed its competitors in the sub-continent, including India and Bangladesh.
Speaking on the occasion, SBP Governor Dr Reza Baqir said overseas Pakistanis could open their accounts with Pakistani banks from their computers at homes, without going to embassies, adding that deposited money was directly repatriable to the bank-account holder, which was not possible earlier without the central bank’s permission.
He also announced that the transfer fee on transactions would be reduced over many requests by overseas Pakistanis. A transfer fee of only $5-9 would now be charged, irrespective of how large the amount is.
Furthermore, the prime minister awarded banks for their performance towards Roshan Digital Accounts, including UBL for opening the highest number of accounts, Meezan Bank for receiving the highest amount in Roshan Digital as well as the highest amount for Islamic Naya Pakistan certificates, HBL for the highest amount received in conventional Naya Pakistan certificates and Bank Alfalah in appreciation of its marketing efforts.
Moreover, overseas Pakistanis from the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain, who were participating via video-link, lauded the prime minister’s initiative for its high interest rate and suggested proposals to include local currency conversion and ensure information privacy.