Senate Standing Committee on Finance has tasked Finance Secretary Yusuf Khan to investigate why PayPal is not coming to Pakistan.
Thus, acting upon the petition of a citizen named Muhammad Bilal Mukhtar senate committee held a meeting upon the issue, Dawn reported.
The petition read, “We want PayPal in Pakistan as there are lots of people who are working as freelancers and we face issues regarding payment and PayPal is the most convenient way to transfer or receive funds from freelancing websites and clients.”
The meeting for the Senate Standing Committee on Finance Revenue and Economic Affairs was presided by Senator Talha Mehmood. The meeting discussed how the Pakistani population is unable to take full advantage of the recently launched Amazon seller services in Pakistan as the globally feasible and renowned payment gateway is unavailable to the sellers.
Against common misconception, the representative of the State Bank of Pakistan reportedly said that the payment gateway service faces no restriction from the state bank’s side. A document presented by the Finance Division read,”…SBP is of the view that there is no restriction on entry/operations of any international payment gateway in Pakistan subject to compliance of related foreign exchange regulations.”
Dawn reported Committee members saying that PayPal is operating in many small countries that have a population lower than that of Pakistan, but it is surprising that they are not operating in Pakistan, a country with an over 220 million population.
Hereupon, the committee urged Finance Secretary Yusuf Khan to hold meetings with all relevant stakeholders to investigate the matter. Along with PayPal, Mr. Khan was asked to investigate why the e-commerce giant Amazon is not operating in Pakistan either.
It is worth mentioning that PayPal is fully functional in more than 190 countries with 361 million active users worldwide. With the coming home of Amazon, the freelancer community has been demanding the establishment of a Pakistani extension of PayPal.
The Economic Survey of Pakistan 2020-21 revealed that freelancers, micro-enterprises, and independent consultants have contributed to $500 million in IT and ITeS exports of Pakistan, however, the sector does not enjoy a basic necessity for international transactions, i.e., an efficient payment gateway known globally as PayPal.
In 2020, the same fintech company reported that Pakistan is the world’s eighth fastest-growing freelancing economy. Currently, there are around one million freelancers in Pakistan and yet the Pakistani freelancers have no reliable payment options.
It is worth mentioning that in 2015, Pakistan made its first request to PayPal to render its services in the country. Another attempt was made in 2019 by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication. But no follow-up step has been taken by the authorities to bring PayPal to Pakistan.
Founder of Extreme Commerce Sunny Ali, the person actively responsible for bringing Amazon to Pakistan said that the government of Pakistan has been unable to fulfill the demands of Paypal regarding the banking system.
He reportedly added that the banking system of Pakistan does not support overdraft, which is among the requirements of the PayPal mechanism. Some relevant laws regarding cybercrime are also missing.
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