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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Overseas Pakistanis deposit $4b in RDA

Country’s pre-eminent scheme to bring in dollars from non-residents has seen record inflows in March at $290 million with a further 23,000 accounts opened in March.

Despite a volatile economic and political situation facing the country for the past four weeks, inflows from the Roshan Digital account (RDA) are still rising. The latest data released by the State Bank of Pakistan for March 2022 show inflows at $290m, the third monthly highest inflow since the scheme’s launch. Overall, RDA deposits stood at close to $4 billion by the end of March.

The number of accounts has increased from 365,182 in February to 388,494 in March 2022, which means some 23,312 new accounts were opened in March. Expatriate Pakistanis from 175 countries had deposited the funds to 388,494 accounts opened through RDA, which shows the success of this initiative and the growing interest of Non-Resident Pakistanis in it.

The Roshan Digital Account was launched in September 2020 by the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The Roshan Digital Account is a major initiative of the State Bank of Pakistan, which in collaboration with the commercial banks operating in Pakistan, aims to provide innovative banking solutions for millions of Non-Resident Pakistanis (NRPs) seeking to undertake banking, payment, and investment activities in Pakistan.

The initiative initially received a lukewarm response from the overseas Pakistanis, who deposited only $7 million in the opening month; however, with time, the interest increased as the inflow reached $40 million in October 2020 and $110 million in the subsequent month with each month bringing an upward trajectory which continues even now.

Read more: Remittances reach all time high, thanks to overseas Pakistanis

With Roshan Digital Account, for the first time in Pakistan’s history, Non-Resident Pakistanis were provided an opportunity to remotely open an account in Pakistan through an entirely digital and online process without visiting a bank branch.

There is, however, a growing concern among non-resident Pakistanis due to the volatile Pakistani political scene. On the SBP’s Tweet sharing the good news of RDA inflows, non-resident Pakistanis shared their concerns – thoughts expressed included whether they would be able to get their money back under any new government, many explicitly mentioned they would take back their money if PM Imran Khan leaves his office and sadly many even referred to what would happen if ‘daku’ or ‘TT’ leaders came in.