The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has laid out an ambitious and comprehensive strategic plan, meticulously designed to steer through the intricate web of challenges spanning political, economic, social, technological, environmental, legal, and institutional domains.
Acknowledging the potential disruption caused by political volatility to economic policies and reforms, the strategic plan emphasizes the importance of garnering consensus among political stakeholders. Through informed debates supported by in-depth analysis and research, the plan aims to foster strategic communication that aligns political support for vital economic reforms.
While recognizing recent economic growth in Pakistan, the plan doesn’t shy away from addressing the challenges posed by global commodity price fluctuations, supply chain disruptions, and geopolitical tensions. These, coupled with domestic political situations and the aftermath of the 2022 floods, highlight the need for a holistic approach. Structural challenges such as stagnant exports, low crop yields, and weak labor productivity are identified as focal points for sustainable growth.
With Pakistan’s youthful and increasingly literate population, the strategic plan seizes the opportunity for financial inclusion. Aligned with the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS), the plan targets enhancements in digital payments, promotion of SME finance, and an increase in Islamic banking. The overarching goal is to create jobs, boost exports, and encourage higher savings.
Recognizing the transformative impact of technology, the plan focuses on AI, Blockchain, Cloud Computing, and Big Data. While championing innovation in the digital landscape, the SBP is committed to mitigating risks related to cybersecurity, online fraud, and unauthorized access. The role of digital banks in fostering financial inclusion is emphasized, with accessibility and convenience as key pillars.
In light of Pakistan’s vulnerability to climate change, the plan incorporates environmental factors to enhance risk mitigation and management capabilities. Aligned with the SBP Vision 2028, efforts will be directed towards addressing climate-related risks impacting economic growth, financial stability, and poverty levels.
Recent amendments in the SBP Act and the Federal Shariat Court judgment form pivotal considerations. The SBP, as outlined in the plan, plays a crucial role in implementing these changes, emphasizing price stability, financial stability, and supporting government economic policies.
The plan highlights recent amendments to the SBP Act, focusing on corporate governance, human resource management, and knowledge management to enhance institutional capacity. Collaboration among stakeholders is deemed crucial to address long-standing structural issues in the economy.
Additionally, SBP takes note of the achievements under the previous SBP Vision 2020, showcasing improvements in monetary policy effectiveness, financial system stability, banking system efficiency, financial inclusion, and the development of modern payment systems. The plan reveals that the SBP aims to embark on this comprehensive strategic journey.