PM Imran Khan launches Pakistan’s first digital payments system

Raast will lead to greater tax collection and improve economic benefits

Prime Minister Imran Khan launched ‘Raast”, Pakistan’s first digital payments system. The idea is to document the economy and lessen the cash transactions. Khan called the cash transactions a big obstacle in the economic development of the country. He also felt that the system will help in reaching out to the rural areas and women through its mobile wallet. He called it a slow process that will lead to greater inclusion of the masses into the economy.

“We are trying to alleviate poverty through Ehsaas Programme and the launch of ‘Raast’ program will help us achieve this goal,” Imran Khan said.  

Better human development

The PM also said that about 70% of the tax collection comes from a mere 30,000 tax payers. He said that greater revenue collection can help improve the various human sectors in the country.  

“Cash economy badly affects tax collection, which is evident from the fact that only two million out of 220 million people are tax filers, while 30,000 of taxpayers make 70% of the total tax collection in the country,” the premier noted. “With an increase in revenue collection, the government will create extra space to spend on human development – education, health, clean drinking water, etc.”

Benefit for women

He also separately mentioned the benefits of the program to the women who can benefit in a number of ways. They will receive a number of incentives through the new digital payment system.

“Our effort is that we bring financial inclusion to women, give them opportunities, open bank accounts for them, help them, give them livestock so they can themselves [improve] their standard of living and it becomes a source of livelihood for them. The Raast program will help with this.”

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