State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) revoked payment of $34 Million to international service providers after being urged by Punjab IT Minister, Dr. Arslan Khalid.
Pakistan’s IT industry has great potential to increase exports, contribute to economic growth, create jobs, earn foreign exchange, and catapult Pakistan to the world’s forefront, according to Dr. Arslan Khalid. As a result of SBP’s decision, the nascent IT industry, which has been struggling to take off, may suffer a serious blow at this point. The future prospects of IT in Pakistan may be jeopardized by this development, and the damage may end up being devastating and long-term if this occurs.
READ MORE: Is Apple Acquiring Manchester United?
“SBP’s decision to revoke the $34 million payment to international service providers must be revised in order to prevent international companies from making IT investments in Pakistan, which will lead to job losses as well as a severe trust deficit which will be very difficult to heal for quite some time to come,” said the minister.
As part of the vision of Digital Pakistan, Pakistan is struggling to embrace IT as a core component, and the IT sector in particular will require tremendous support from all stakeholders, especially the government, if it is to benefit all social and economic sectors in Pakistan” said Dr. Arslan Khalid.
As the minister of information technology explained, the non-payment of outstanding dues to major service providers will have a significant impact on the users of e-Government in Pakistan because they will not be able to access digital banking, e-Commerce, e-Education, e-Health, etc, as a result of the nonpayment.
There is no doubt that in the age of social media, an outage of digital services in the country would tarnish Pakistan’s image on a global scale; this is why such a situation must be avoided at any cost,” Dr. Arslan Khalid concluded.
There is an important point to mention here, which is that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has suspended the Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) mechanism, as a result of which international service providers have been unable to receive the annual payment of $34 Million from mobile companies in Pakistan.
MUST READ : FCC marks ZTE and Huawei as threats, bans imports
As a result of this unfortunate development, consumers will be forced to add Credit Card or Debit Card information to their Google Play account before they can download or upload international Apps from the Google Play store. Since the credit/debit card facility will only be available to a relatively small number of users, the majority of cell phone users will be unable to take advantage of the Google services. “I request the senior management of the State Bank of Pakistan to immediately reverse the decision they made in the larger interest of Pakistan and the nascent IT industry,” the Minister of Information Technology stated.