Govt Announces Major Reforms in Banking Sector for Better Service Delivery

The Head of Prime Minister’s Strategic Reforms Unit Salman Sufi Thursday announced a series of public benefit banking reforms aimed at facilitating freelancers, corporate clients, and the general public.

Addressing a news conference, Sufi also announced reforms in various other public sectors like customs, information technology, health, and social welfare to facilitate people by ensuring smooth service delivery.

The reforms in the banking sector include setting up a database for fraudulent cheques. The database will give citizens access to confirm if the account is in good standing before accepting a cheque. Terming it a ‘revolutionary’ measure, he said it would help prevent the parties from undue litigation.


In another reform, digital freelancers will be able to open bank accounts based on the address given on their national identity cards. Sufi pointed out that digital freelancers usually work from home and banks were asking for office addresses, resulting in cash transactions.

The account opening process for corporate customers has also been made easy as the condition for corporate clients to provide Certified True Copies (CTC) of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has been abolished. Now, banks will access all documents via the SECP website which will simplify the account opening process.

Similarly, citizens without smartphones will be able to open and operate bank accounts on simple cell phones via SMS.

He said there was another reform in the banking sector that would enable a bank account holder to open more accounts, if he/she wanted, in other banks without indulging in the process that he/she had already completed while opening the first account.

Personal Baggage Rules

Sufi said the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had notified new rules to settle the personal baggage limit of “International travelers” arriving in Pakistan, under which their personal luggage would be duty-free.

While Pakistanis returning home within 30 days, 60 days, and onward could carry duty-free baggage worth up to $400, $800, and $1200, respectively.

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