Pakistanis living abroad have sent $1.6 billion through RDAs.

ByFaisal Chughtai
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According to the State Bank of Pakistan, overseas Pakistanis have transferred roughly $1.6 billion using Roshan digital accounts (RDAs) in less than a year.

The RDAs have piqued the curiosity of foreign Pakistanis since its announcement by Pakistan's Prime Minister on September 10, 2020. According to the new website, 181,556 accounts from 171 countries have been established, with $1.562 billion deposited in them by the end of June 2021.

The website also displays monthly trends in the number of accounts established, deposits made, and investments made in Naya Pakistan Certificates (NPCs) and the stock exchange. Over the previous six months, the data reveals an increasing trend in all of these aspects. June saw the most significant monthly deposits ($310 million) and NPC investments ($233 million) since the RDAs' inception. By the end of June, $1050 million had been spent in NPCs, with $621 million invested in conventional NPCs and $429 million invested in Islamic NPCs.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has created a portal for tracking the Roshan Digital Accounts' development (RDA).

The data has been aggregated and made available to the public via a new web page: https://www.sbp.org.pk/RDA/Progress.html, based on individual reports from banks that engage in RDAs. This website will be updated once a month.

The RDAs are a historic State Bank project that connects the Pakistani diaspora to the Pakistani financial system and economy. For the first time, it has enabled foreign Pakistanis to create bank accounts in Pakistan entirely digitally, removing the need to visit a bank office or an embassy.

The RDAs allow foreign Pakistanis to do all types of banking activities in Pakistan, including as paying their families' school and utility bills, transferring cash, e-commerce, vehicle financing through Roshan Apni Car, and making charity gifts through Roshan Samaaji Khidmat. They provide special investment possibilities in Naya Pakistan certificates as well as excellent returns in conventional and Shariah-compliant formats, as well as in the Pakistani stock market and real estate.

The tax treatment is straightforward, and it exempts foreign Pakistanis from submitting a tax return in Pakistan on income earned through the account. Importantly, the account is completely repatriable, allowing foreign Pakistanis to simply send money from their accounts to where they live.

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