The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Controller General of Accounts Pakistan (CGAP) Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for digitising federal government payments through RAAST- Pakistan’s First Instant Payment System, launched in January 2021 by SBP.
Raast is a flagship initiative of SBP, which provides simple, fast, low-cost, interoperable and a secure electronic payment platform for instant processing of high volume retail payments. It also has the ability to make payments to multiple beneficiaries at a time in order to cater to high volume government payments like salaries, pension and social security payments.
In its pilot phase, the salaries and pensions of federal government employees will be paid through Raast. The payroll and pension-roll data will be shared from the CGA system to SBP’s Raast through a highly secured interface, and payments to the beneficiaries’ accounts will be made instantly after validating the beneficiaries’ details.
After the pilot run, the facility will be rolled out to cover all the salaries, pensions and supplier payments of federal and provincial governments. SBP is also working to use the capacities of Raast to include payments of social security nets such as the Ehsas Program, BISP and other government entities.