In a significant step towards greater efficiency in sending and receiving payments and digitization to the economy, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday launched the country’s first instant digital payment system, Raast.
Addressing the launch of the digital payment system, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the latest effort of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) would allow Pakistan to gradually move from a cash-based economy to a digital economy.
In his address, the Prime Minister said that the cash-based economy was the biggest hurdle in tapping into Pakistan’s real potential. He said, “The cash-based economy adversely affects tax collection, which is evident from the fact that out of 220 million people, only 2 million are tax filers, while 30,000 taxpayers in the country have to pay taxes 70%.
The Prime Minister said that Digital Pakistan is a step forward from a cash-based economy to a place where we can make the most of our 220 million population.
The Prime Minister also congratulated the SBP for working on this ‘direct’ initiative and joining the Bank’s efforts to persuade Pakistanis abroad to send remittances through formal channels.He said that these efforts have resulted in significant improvement in foreign remittances. “Our current account deficit has become a surplus, which has eased the pressure on the rupee,” he said.
Earlier, addressing the function, SBP Governor Raza Baqir highlighted the features of the forthcoming system.”When this system moves forward, and when we integrate government departments into the system, government employees will immediately receive salaries, pensions.
Savers, who have to stand in line at national savings centers. They get paid in seconds, he said, and Ehsan is another example of the Emergency Cash program, which, once integrated, can be paid in seconds.
Baqir said that for all these payments, inconveniences, opportunities to create inconvenience in the way of our people will be eliminated when the system is fully operational.SBP has developed this new system in collaboration with Karandaz Pakistan to process instant payments.
This new system called ‘Rust’ will solve the problems related to the payment system.Baqir said international experience has shown that the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) instant payment system is “revolutionizing” financial inclusion. “It’s about making things easier for people,” he said.