In 2015, when the United Nations had laid down its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), where quality education was set as Goal No.4 out of the 17 goals. The definition of literacy was also modified by the UN that now also covers financial literacy i.e. a person is deemed to be literate if he/she could undertake basic banking transactions.
Currently the literacy rate of Pakistan stands at 58% according to the Pakistan Economists, and with the new definition, the literacy rate of Pakistan is said to decrease, given the fact that there are only 48 million bank accounts.
Lusardi and Mitchell (2014) define financial literacy “as the awareness and the knowledge of the public that is related with the financial services, management of the financial resources and the different concepts that are considered to be very important for the awareness of the general public so that they might get the information related to the different financial terms such as the interest rates, inflation etc.”
Over the past few years, the private banking sector has been working on financial literacy and inclusion in Pakistan. However, the State Bank of Pakistan has also stepped up its game on 15th January 2019 launched a mass media campaign for its National Financial Literacy Program (NFLP). It is to be noted the program was launched on a pilot basis in August 2017 in 77 districts of the country. Finishing its second year, the scope of the project has been extended to all 158 districts of the country. The program provides education on different financial themes such as budgeting, savings, investments, debt management, consumers’ rights and obligations, Islamic banking, branchless banking and currency management.
The NFPL official website is available in English and Urdu. The program is managed by the Improving Access to Financial Services (IAFS) committee that consists of Pakistan Banks’ Association, Pakistan Microfinance Network, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, local education sector, and SBP. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) plays the role of an observer.