Open Letter to the Prime Minister of Pakistan
From Youth of Pakistan
We are writing this letter as an initiative to express our extreme disappointment and frustration with your lack of concern for Pakistan's freelancing youth who have been deceived by your promise to bring companies like PayPal , Ebay, Amazon and other global marketplaces. Two years ago when youth of this country voted for you and overthrew long lasting 'dyansty politics'
A study in Bangladesh found that the average factory reduced wage distribution costs by more than 50% within two years after it began paying workers directly via digital bank accounts.
PayPal isn’t coming to Pakistan because of its “internal issues”, announced Information Technology Secretary Maroof Afzal during a Senate Standing Committee on IT briefing on Thursday.
The US-based financial services company is an online money transfer system used by individuals and businesses to make payments. For example, a consumer can purchase his favourite book from Amazon.com if he has a PayPal account. However, the services were not available in Pakistan.
“We are still talking to PayPal,” Afzal said.
Senator Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh suggested that Pakistan can sign a public-private partnership with PayPal instead.
Afzal said that they are also in talks with Alipay and Google.
Shaikh remarked that the Universal Services Fund representatives should be told about the problems being faced by those who freelance.
“We conducted a survey of those who freelance and found out that they have been facing a lot of problems,” remarked Afzal.
Senator Rehman Malik pointed out that one of the problems being faced by Pakistan is the lack of credit checking. “We were given details of 200 bank accounts with suspicious transactions. The IT ministry should implement the system of credit checking.”
In October 2018, former finance minister Asad Umar asked the IT ministry to form a task force to either convince PayPal to come to Pakistan or work on launching a home-grown online payment system.
The Finance Minister of Pakistan, Asad Umar, has confirmed that the government has not stopped PayPal from entering into the Pakistani market.
While addressing a press conference, Umar claimed that no department in Pakistan has halted the launch of PayPal in the country.
PayPal is not stopped on my desk, the State Bank or in any other government institution. We are chasing PayPal.
The Finance Minister claimed that he is well aware that PayPal presents a great opportunity for Pakistan and it is an excellent source of income for local youngsters who work from home. “They face immense difficulties without PayPal or any effective online payment system,” said Asad Umar.
He further added:
I have taken the initiative myself and sent a message to PayPal CEO that this was important and I was willing to fly to America to hold a meeting.
Lastly, Asad talked about AliPay which is a part of Alibaba. He said that its subsidiary, Ant Financial, has bought majority stakes in Telenor Bank which should be helpful in improving the digital banking market in Pakistan.
Stressing on the need of an online payments system to promote IT sector, Federal Minister of Finance Asad Umar stated that he was ready to catch the next flight to meet Paypal CEO and convince him to come to Pakistan.
“Either Paypal or any other alternate virtual payment system but in the next four months or so we should have an internationally acceptable payment gateway for the surging number of startups in the country,” he said in an online interview with PTI social media.
“I have met Prime Minister Imran Khan and IT minister in the past few days just to make sure we are moving in the right direction in this regard,” the minister said.
“If Paypal cannot come here then there must be an alternative of Paypal somewhere in the world,” he stated.
Highlighting the potential of Pakistani market, the PTI's financial guru said, 'I am ready to catch a flight and go meet Paypal chief and ask why he’s leaving such a big market on the ground'.
Furthermore, discussing the closure of spectrum sales in Pakistan, Umar stated: “Spectrum sale has been shut down. Only 124 megahertz spectrum has been opened by Pakistan while even Myanmar has a higher number than 400 megahertz. Why are we still holding on to that? This is not a finite resource that could end.”