PM launches ‘Raast’ instant payment system

ISLAMABAD (PEN) – Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan on Tuesday launched Pakistan s first instant person to person payment system  Raast  developed by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in Islamabad on Tuesday.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said the country s population can be turned into a real asset by involving them in the formal economy through digitization.

Imran Khan said Raast will facilitate the common man to do their transactions through cell phones, besides it will also help improve the saving rates.

Imran Khan said technology is the way through which we can enhance our saving rates as well as tax to GDP ratio to take the country forward. He said we are also using technology in FBR in order to trace those who are not paying taxes regardless of lavish lifestyle.

Prime Minister reaffirmed the commitment to lift the people out of poverty, saying if we succeeded in it, it will be the present government s big achievement.

The Prime Minister also directed the Governor State Bank of Pakistan 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.

Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, in his remarks, termed Raast instant payment system as a revolution in digital banking which will promote e-commerce and IT related exports.

Shaukat Tarin said the Prime Minister will soon announce some new initiatives to help the lower middle and salaried class affected by the price hike. He said Raast can also be used in implementation of those initiatives.

Highlighting the key features of Raast, Governor State Bank of Pakistan Reza Baqir said this technological advanced system, which is only available in few countries, will be completely free and the banks will not charge any fee on it. He asked the people to fully use the system for their payments.

The Governor pointed out that e-banking transactions worth five hundred billion dollars were carried out last year. He said a growth of thirty percent is being witnessed in e-banking transactions and these will further increase through Raast.

Alluding to the future plans of the central bank, Reza Baqir said that five licenses will be issued for the establishment of digital banks which will cater to the common man. He said we are also enabling the people to remotely open their bank accounts with the help of NADRA. He said this will bring more people into the banking system.