In less than eight months, forex inflows through Roshan Digital Accounts (RDA) of overseas Pakistanis crossed a billion dollars mark on April 23. These accounts are attractive enough to continue to bring into Pakistan huge sums of foreign exchange every month — overseas Pakistanis can use these accounts to invest in rupee and foreign currency-denominated Naya Pakistan Certificates (NPCs) and earn intoxicating returns. They also have the choice to invest in NPCs in both conventional and Shariah-compliant forms.
On three-month NPCs, the annualised return is 5.5 per cent in dollars, 5.25pc in pound sterling, 4.75pc in euros and 9.50pc in rupees depending upon the currency of choice for investment. Returns on six-month, one-year, three-year and five-year NPCS are equally attractive — especially on foreign currency denominated NPCs.
This is reason number one for the meteoric rise in forex inflows through RDA. Bankers say that the bulk of $1bn funds received so far have ended up investments in NPCs. Another reason is that the rupee equivalent of forex funds in RDA can be invested into real estate, the stock market and mutual funds as well.
NPCs intoxicating returns is reason number one for the meteoric rise in forex inflows through Roshan Digital Accounts
A surge in total forex inflows in RDA — from $9 million in September 2020 when the scheme was launched to $1bn now — is really commendable. It has helped Pakistan increase the availability of foreign exchange at a crucial time when forex spending on external debt servicing and imports is high, exports are growing too slowly and foreign investment inflows are low.