The federal secretary for Information and Technology, Shoaib Siddiqui, has once again reassured the IT sector that an international level payment gateway would soon launch in the country. However, it constitutes at least the 4th recorded instance of a government representative promising an international payment gateway “soon” in the past 2 years. The statement came during a visit of the federal secretaries to Balochistan.
ملک میں جلد ہی عالمی سطح کا ڈیجیٹل پیمنٹ سسٹم لایا جائیگا جبکہ آئی ٹی انڈسٹری کو 2025تک ٹیکس سے چھوٹ دی گئی ہے، یہ بات انہوں نے کوئٹہ میں صحافیوں کے وفد سے گفتگو کرتے ہوئے کہی۔#PakistanMovingForward #ICT #Balochistan #freelancers #paymentgateway pic.twitter.com/Hg2AfDr7uo
— Ministry of IT & Telecom (@MoitOfficial) March 28, 2021
On at least 4 different occasions during the past 2 years, the Pakistani government has mentioned its plans to bring an international payment gateway to Pakistan.
- It was first stated that the government was working on a policy to bring PayPal to Pakistan in October 2019.
- Sabahat Ali Shah, a senior official of the National Institute of Technology Board, told Urdu News that Pakistan was hopeful of bringing the service to Pakistan to facilitate those who earn from abroad and find it difficult to transfer their money in November 2019.
- The IT Ministry, in Aug 2020, revealed that an international payment system like PayPal would launch in a month.
- Shoaib Siddiqui, the federal IT secretary, said that the Government was working on the payment gateways to resolve the IT industry’s payment issues in Jan 2021.
While conversing with journalists at the Quetta press club, the federal secretary also said that the government is taking a keen interest in the progress and development of Balochistan, which is why the federal secretaries are visiting the province under instructions from Prime Minister Imran Khan and the federal IT minister, Amin Ul Haq. “The federal secretaries have been tasked to improve the communication and understanding between the federal government and the provincial Balochistan government.”, the announcement said.
“The government considers Balochistan’s progress as fundamental to Pakistan’s progress, and the vision of Pakistan’s progress cannot come to fruition without resolving the grievances of the people of Balochistan.”
Shedding light on Balochistan’s government initiatives, the secretary further said that measures are underway to promote research, innovation, and other healthy activities, including networking projects carried under the Universal Service Fund. However, the ground realities cannot be better understood while sitting in Islamabad.
The CEO of the Universal Service Fund, Haris Mehmood, Managing director of Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), Usman Nasir, CEO of Ignite, Asim Shehryar, CEO of the National Information Technology Board (NITB), Shabahat Ali Shah and the rector Virtual University (VU), Irshad Bhatti were also present at the occasion.
The federal secretary further reiterated that the tax exemption to IT exports granted until 2025 is part of the government’s agenda to enhance its IT progress.