Islamabad– Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday announced two new schemes for overseas Pakistanis who have Roshan Digital Accounts (RDA).
In an event held here at the capital, the premier thanked Governor State Bank Reza Baqir for his role in bringing about the two schemes; Roshan Apni Car and Roshan Samaji Khidmat, the Geo TV reported.
The Prime Minister instructed the government to seek Finance Minister Shaukat Tareen’s help, saying that the minister was an expert in when it came to the marketing aspect of products and assets.
The premier urged his economic team to keep thinking of “out-of-the-box” solutions to support Pakistan’s economy till its exports does not come at par with its imports.
He appreciated the record-breaking rise in remittances from overseas Pakistanis over the years, adding that this was just the “tip of the iceberg”.
He praised that the Pakistani diaspora for playing their part in supporting Pakistan’s economy over the years.
“Overseas Pakistanis have, over the years, kept our economy afloat,” he said, adding that he was in touch with overseas Pakistanis for the past 50 years during his cricketing days.
In a message to Pakistani embassies in various countries across the world, Imran said that their “most important duty” is to look after the affairs of Pakistani labourers in those countries.
He said that the Pakistani embassy in Saudi Arabia had not taken care of labourers, adding that a “high-powered” investigation will be launched into the matter and exemplary punishments will be handed to those found guilty.
Imran said that he had received reports that embassy staffers were taking money as bribes from Pakistani labourers in Saudi Arabia.
Earlier, PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan went into detail about the success of the RDA and its impact.
“Today PM Imran Khan will address overseas Pakistanis in connection with #RoshanDigitalAccount reaching a great milestone of 1 Billion Dollars. RDA was launched just 7 months ago, with the objective of connecting NRPs to Pakistan’s Banking System completely digitally,” he had tweeted.
“Today more than 120,000 accounts have been opened from 170 countries around the world and more than 1 Billion Dollars have been received. Investment in Naya Pakistan Certificates has crossed 646 Million Dollars. Investment in Stock Exchange through RDA has crossed PKR 1.6 Billion,” he wrote in a subsequent tweet.
Javed announced the names of the two new schemes that the Prime Minister launched today.
“This milestone is a testament to faith that NRPs have in Pakistan & PM Imran Khan led PTI Govt. To enrich #RoshanDigitalAccount scheme further, today 2 new initiatives are being launched for RDA holders: Roshan Apni Car… Roshan Samaaji Khidmat,” he tweeted.
He said that the “Roshan Apni Car” scheme will enable overseas Pakistanis to buy cars for their loved ones at very attractive rates.
“Now RDA holders can avail financing under #RoshanApniCar at very attractive terms to purchase a car for their loved ones in Pakistan. Banks are offering both conventional & Islamic modes of financing at attractive mark-up rates starting from 7 per cent with priority delivery,” he wrote.
The senator said that it was now possible for overseas Pakistanis to pay donations easily by going into the banks’ portals and selecting the charity they want to pay and the amount.
“Under #RoshanSamaajiKhidmat RDA holders can give donations, Zakat etc. very conveniently, through the banks portal by selecting the charity and paying the amount. For the first time, they will also be able to make donations directly to the government’s landmark Ehsaas program,” he tweeted.
Imran has on several occasions referred to overseas Pakistanis as the country’s “biggest asset” and vowed to make policies that benefit them.
The Prime Minister has tasked his government over the past few months to come up with electoral reforms that would allow overseas Pakistanis to vote in the upcoming general elections as well.
The Roshan Digital Account initiative
The Roshan Digital Account is an initiative by the State Bank of Pakistan to serve the banking needs for overseas Pakistanis so it is easier for them to invest in their home country.
Last year in September, Imran launched the initiative. A press release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office last year had said that it is “the first time in the country’s history, Non-Returning Pakistanis (NRP) will be able to remotely open an account through an entirely digital and online process without any need to visit a bank branch, embassy, or consulate”.
“The customer can choose either foreign currency or rupee dominated account, or both. Funds in these accounts will be fully repatriable, without the need for any regulatory approval,” the statement read.
Speaking to media last year, SBP Governor Dr Reza Baqir had said that the initiative would allow overseas Pakistanis to invest money in local stock markets, buy government bonds and securities, and avail basic banking services.
The SBP boss had added that at least eight Pakistani banks will facilitate the Roshan Digital Accounts and allow overseas Pakistanis to deposit funds in either US dollars or Pakistani rupees. (IANS)