Draft law being made to prevent cyber crimes, terror financing


Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said that a draft law is being prepared to subvert cyber crimes and terrorist financing.

Addressing the International Branchless Banking Conference on Monday, he said the draft would soon be presented in parliament for proper legislation.

Highlighting the significance of branchless banking for the economy, the minister said using digital financial channels such as electronic and mobile banking reduces the probability of theft and fraud. He was of the view that promotion of digital banking would also help increase Pakistan’s remittances which saw a surge of 15.21 per cent in the first four months of current financial year.

Ishaq Dar said their branchless banking models were recognised globally and there was a need to make more concerted efforts to drive the branchless banking sector through mobile and other latest technologies for the benefit of far-flung areas.

The minister said the government was committed to implementing its economic reform agenda with the aim to achieve high GDP growth rate and ensure its benefits reaching the grass-root level. “As a key element of our economic agenda, the government is supporting poor segments of the society through various supportive initiatives. The government is targeting the most vulnerable population through its income support programme while several projects including loan schemes have been launched for the youth,” he said.

Earlier, in his welcome address, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Ashraf Mahmood Wathra said branchless banking was being encouraged to serve the rural and under-served areas of the country.

Pakistan, he said, was one of the largest branchless banking markets in the world with branchless accounts rising to 47 million. The governor said now more banks were keen to become part of innovative mobile banking service. He said a special programme had also been started to raise awareness amongst the people about the benefits of electronic and mobile banking.