Finance Minister reviews Raast implementation, highlights importance of public-private partnership

ISLAMABAD, Sep 27 (Alliance News):Reviewing implementation status of RAAST, the Caretaker Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar on Wednesday highlighted the importance of public-private partnerships in achieving sustainable development goals and inclusive growth.
During a meeting with Country Lead (Pakistan), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Syed Ali Mahmood, and Chief Executive Officer, Karandaaz, Waqas ul Hasan, she welcomed the contribution of their organizations in this regard.

The minister highlighted government’s commitment to fostering inclusive economic growth, attracting investments, and addressing socio-economic challenges in the country.
The Minister thanked the BMGF for its assistance on RAAST and the integrated social safety net programme and welcomed the idea of signing a Memorandum of Understanding to formalize the future support on Digital Pakistan
Stack.
The meeting was aimed at reviewing the implementation status of Raast-Pakistan Instant Payment System support provided by the BMGF, integrated social safety net programme and BMGF’s offer for assistance on the Digital Pakistan Stack.
Other potential areas of collaboration including climate finance and upscaling conditional cash transfers to integrated social payments also came under discussion.

On the occasion, Waqas ul Hasan, CEO Karandaaz briefed the Minister on Raast-Pakistan Instant Payment System support provided by the BMGF through Karandaaz and outlined the key features of the Digital Pakistan Stack i.e. next generation of Raast supported Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) which Pakistan can introduce with Foundation’s help.
An amount of over Rs.4 trillion has already been transacted through RAAST which has over 33 million unique IDs now, he added
The design of integrated social safety net programme for improved immunization, nutrition, women economic empowerment, financial inclusion by the BMGF’s was also discussed.
It was agreed that the MoU for BMGF’s assistance through Karandaaz will be signed on the sidelines of the World Bank meetings at Morocco in October 2023.
The National Financial Inclusion Council, chaired by the Federal Minister for Finance, will oversee the implementation of the Digital Pakistan Stack.

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