The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has spent a whopping Rs 9.4 billion on printing of currency notes of different values in 2017-18 alone. SBP, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the government need to do much more to move Pakistan over to a more cashless society.
These views were expressed over social media by Omar Moeen Malik, Group Executive Director of Telenor Bank, a subsidiary of Telenor Group whose 45 percent stake were bought by Ant Financial earlier this year over.
Also Read: SBP’s annual report for FY18
Omar further said that in five months, The Supreme Court of Pakistan and the Prime Minister of Pakistan Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dams Fund has only collected Rs 7.4 billion. The top executive of Telenor Bank, earlier through an opinion piece in a publication, also highlighted loopholes in SBP’s mechanism for verification of bank accounts which leads towards money laundering or terrorist financing or fraud.
His opinion also highlights that Pakistan has not been able to build trust of people over banking channels and merely 25 million people have a bank account. “Whatever little trust people have in the banking system is being eroded due to unknown billionaire stories appearing every day and the banking sector is becoming a joke,” Omar concluded.
It is a rare instance that professionals from the corporate sector criticizing banking regulator’s policies and government inability towards implementing a robust financial inclusion strategy.
Published in Daily Times, November 6th 2018.