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Friday, January 27, 2023
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PM Khan officially launches Pakistan’s first instant digital payment system

PM Khan said the country's 220 million-strong population could become a "great asset" if brought within the formal economy through digitalization. PM Khan also said that the initiative will create ease for the common who are already afraid of going to banks.

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PM Khan officially launches the country’s first instant digital payment system ‘Raast’ for low-cost retail payments and money transfers.

According to PM Khan, the digital system will bring the common man into the formal economy. Speaking on the occasion, PM Khan said the country’s 220 million-strong population could become a “great asset” if brought within the formal economy through digitalization. However, he noted that the same population will become a burden if it will remain outside the formal economy.

PM Khan also said that the initiative will create ease for the common who are already afraid of going to banks. According to PM Khan, the formal and westernized atmosphere of banks seem intimidating for an ordinary Pakistani. However, with Raast, people can easily transfer money through their mobile phones.

Read more: Wear shalwar kameez at banks to facilitate people better: PM Khan

Furthermore, PM Khan said the initiative will help improve saving rates. He said technology is the way through which we can enhance our saving rates as well as the tax to GDP ratio to take the country forward.

“A country progresses when the saving rate increases, we have amongst the lowest,” PM Khan noted.

PM Khan said the government was reaching more people to bring them into the tax net. He also warned tax defaulters.

“We are about to reach you because we are getting data very quickly,” PM Khan said.

The Prime Minister also directed the Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to establish a special cell to further facilitate the overseas Pakistanis. He said overseas Pakistanis are our biggest asset and we need to further facilitate them.

According to SBP, inflows through Roshan Digital Account from Overseas Pakistanis crossed the $3 billion mark.

Raast: Making banking easier for common man

Raast is part of PM Khan’s Digital Pakistan vision to include the poor segments of society in the formal economy. The SBP developed the Raast program in collaboration with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Karandaaz, Pakistan.

The digitally faster and easier system will facilitate the common man in accessing banking channels and electronic transactions. At the same time, it will help various financial institutions, including commercial banks, government agencies, and Fintax, to access and connect to the central system at low cost with time-saving.

Read more: Pakistan’s digitalization efforts take center-stage at SCO-China forum

After its success at the level of direct business and investment last year, it has been launched at the level of citizens for the convenience of the common man.