State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Jameel Ahmad Thursday informed the Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue that the central bank is working to launch its own digital currency, known as the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Saleem Mandviwalla at Parliament House, where the committee was briefed by the SBP governor that many central banks are working to launch digital currency on a pilot basis, and the SBP is trying to learn from their experience.
The governor said that SBP is currently reviewing work done by other central banks. He also advised patience and said the bank was proceeding with caution to launch the CBDC.
Committee chairman Saleem Mandviwalla reminded the central bank governor that SBP was against digital banking in the country but now it is issuing licenses to fast-track its implementation.
Mandviwalla said the regulator is also in denial about cryptocurrencies and lamented how the world was moving forward while Pakistan continued to tread a path in the opposite direction.
Meanwhile, SBP the governor told the committee that the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Bank will be permanently closed due to heavy losses incurred since its inception. Over Rs. 5 billion have been refunded to SME account holders, while the remaining Rs. 2.5 billion will also be returned.