The Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, Dr. Reza Baqir, and relevant stakeholders met to discuss the cross-cutting issues pertaining to the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
The attendees of the meeting suggested the formation of working groups to address specific issues related to taxation in digital financial services, the integration of government agencies with the Raast system, and the availability of seamless internet connectivity across Pakistan.
The SBP organized the fourth Stakeholders’ Meeting on the Digital Financial Ecosystem, chaired by Dr. Baqir. The goal of these stakeholder meetings has been to accelerate the agenda on promoting digital financial services in Pakistan, and supporting coordination in cross-cutting issues.
Dr. Baqir commended the stakeholders’ support, and particularly the assistance of the World Bank, the FBR, and the concerned financial institutions in the progression of the drive for digital financial services.
He briefed the participants of the forum about the significant progress made on Raast (Pakistan’s Instant Payment System) and the developments on its integration with various government agencies to achieve scale. The developments include the integration of Banks and Microfinance Banks with Raast, and the signing of an MoU with the CGA to digitize government payments.
The Governor SBP also informed the participants that despite the disruptions due to the pandemic, the SBP has been working diligently with its partner institutions to keep to the roadmap. The participants were briefed about the draft Digital Bank Regulatory Framework which was recently published by the SBP on its website for public consultation.
Dr. Baqir encouraged the stakeholders to critically review the framework and share their feedback to enable improvements. He also apprised them of the progress made toward the concluding charges for the Inter Bank Funds Transfers (IBFT).
The way forward in digital financial services like Open Banking was discussed, and it was agreed to establish a forum to propose recommendations in these areas in line with international best practices.
The meeting was attended by the Chairman FBR; the Country Director of the World Bank; the representatives of the Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue (AGPR), the Controller General of Accounts (CGA), the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT), the NADRA, the PTA, Karandaaz; the CEOs/Presidents of Banks, Microfinance Banks, and Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs), and several other stakeholders.