Pakistan has finally passed it’s first-ever e-commerce policy framework. This is for the first time that the cabinet has passed any such legal framework. PM Imran Khan commented on the issue and said that this bill would help fulfilling government’s youth-related projects such as the Pakistan’ Kamyaab Jawan Program and One Woman-One Account initiative.
The current size of the e-commerce industry can be judged from the sales of its services, which stand at around Rs20.7 billion. Whereas, India earns $33 billion from the IT sector while China earns around $1562 billion from the e-commerce sales. PM said that the youth can capitalize a lot more from the existing IT infrastructure and they are gradually moving in that direction.
Under the policy, the government plans to shift the payments system for all payments above Rs10,000 to online payments systems, from the existing Cash on Delivery payment system by the year 2022. The policy also includes a plan to shift all Cash on Delivery payments to online payments by the year 2029.
A national e-commerce council would also be established under the current framework to re-export the faulty items bought through e-commerce websites. It has also been decided to form e-courts for making quick decisions regarding the consumer protection cases. Under the bill it is also necessary for every e-commerce business, which is earning Rs 1 million/annum, to register with the SECP. The SECP has also decided to collaborate with the IT sector and bring more online payment companies such as PayPal to Pakistan to ease online payments systems.
The legislation provides regulations regarding the following parameters:
- E-commerce regulation and facilitation
- Digitization of payment infrastructure
- Empowering youth and SMEs through trade development
- Consumer protection
- Taxation structure
- IT infrastructure and Telecom services
- Data protection
- Global connectivity.