The Caretaker Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue, and Economic Affairs, Shamshad Akhtar, underscored the significance of public-private partnerships in achieving sustainable development goals and fostering inclusive growth during a review of the implementation of RAAST (Pakistan Instant Payment System).
In a meeting with Syed Ali Mahmood, Country Lead (Pakistan) for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), and Waqas ul Hasan, Chief Executive Officer of Karandaaz, she expressed appreciation for the contributions of their organizations in this endeavor.
Akhtar reaffirmed the government’s commitment to promoting inclusive economic growth, attracting investments, and addressing socio-economic challenges within Pakistan.
The finance minister extended her gratitude to the BMGF for its support in RAAST and the integrated social safety net program. She also welcomed the proposal to formalise future support for Digital Pakistan Stack through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding.
The meeting primarily aimed to assess the progress of Raast-Pakistan Instant Payment System, the BMGF’s involvement in the integrated social safety net program, and its offer to assist in the development of the Digital Pakistan Stack.
The discussion also encompassed potential areas of collaboration, including climate finance and the expansion of conditional cash transfers into integrated social payments.
The Karandaaz CEO, presented an overview of Raast-Pakistan Instant Payment System, supported by the BMGF through Karandaaz, and highlighted the key features of the Digital Pakistan Stack. This stack represents the next generation of Raast-supported Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) that Pakistan can introduce with the Foundation’s support.
He noted that RAAST has already facilitated transactions totaling over Rs4 trillion and now boasts more than 33 million unique IDs.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 28th2023.
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