Pakistan’s Caretaker Minister for Information Technology, Dr. Umar Saif, has approved a comprehensive plan from the Prime Minister to rapidly increase the country’s IT exports and announced that Pakistan will promote digital currency and international payment networks. Apart from that, emergency measures will be taken to increase IT exports through the foreign currency accounts of freelancers.
According to the information provided by the Ministry of Information Technology, Caretaker Minister Dr. Umar Saif is very active in this regard, and he wants all these works to be completed within a short period of a few months.
According to the details released by the Ministry, the issues that are being worked on urgently and which have been approved by the Caretaker Prime Minister, Anwarul Haq Kakar, are the immediate removal of all obstacles to increasing IT exports to ten billion dollars. , Bringing leading payment gateways PayPal and Stripes to Pakistan, setting limits on foreign dollar bank withdrawals, eliminating IT freelancer account issues, and remittances to dollar accounts by issuing corporate debit cards Steps included.
Government initiatives for financial technology and IT promotion
According to the officials, the caretaker prime minister has also directed the Finance, State Bank, FBR, Commerce, and Energy departments to consult with the IT Ministry for progress on all these initiatives.
According to the Ministry of Information Technology, especially the obstacles faced in the promotion of digital currency and the activation of dollar accounts of freelancers will be eliminated soon, and last week the Caretaker Minister, Dr. Umar Saif, also met with the officials of the State Bank in this regard. After which, it is expected that these issues will be resolved in a few months, if not in a few weeks. However, according to the State Bank, progress on these projects may still take time.
Dollar accounts and digital currency policies require further consultation.
A senior State Bank official told that Dr. Umar Saif has definitely met the top officials of the bank, but it was a preliminary meeting and nothing has been decided and no documents have been issued to move forward. But something happened.
Dr. Umar Saif wishes to remove the restriction of using 35% capital on foreign currency accounts of freelancers and allow them to use 100% or less capital so that more and more foreigners can be in the country. Currency came.
However, according to State Bank officials, in the current situation, the change in foreign currency accounts is a matter of consideration, and the State Bank has already formulated a strategy in this regard after much consideration.
Dr. Umar Saif has a thought of his own. He wants to implement his vision to move forward in the field of information technology. But the situation about the way forward will be clear only when all the documents are put in front of him and consultations are held from all angles.
According to State Bank officials, the bank has implemented a policy on both the promotion of digital currency and foreign currency accounts in the country, and a complete review of the situation is necessary to change it.
Reason for interruption of payments through QR code
As far as the use of digital currency in the streets is concerned, all the banks have created an infrastructure under the direction of the State Bank. And an awareness campaign is also being conducted to attract the public towards it.
The facility to make payments by scanning the QR code is available in many places in the Pakistan. But it will take time to roll out everywhere.
Payment through QR codes is a fast-growing trend in the world. And it is being widely used, especially in Pakistan’s neighbouring countries, India and China. But in Pakistan, its development is slow.
According to senior economic affairs journalist Mehtab Haider, Pakistan is lagging behind in the field of technology. And digital currency due to regulatory and security issues.
Regulation and security concerns are major obstacles.
“Pakistan has many problems with regulation and technology. Even fibre cable could not be laid in many areas. Here, everything is seen through the security mirror, and it is a hindrance to advancement in the field of technology.
Currently, e-wallets are booming around the world. Meaning that your money will be with you electronically and you will be able to transfer it electronically.
Mehtab Haider said that the State Bank had done some things four to five years ago for this, but the regulation has not been brought yet.
Officials fear technology.
He said that some people in Pakistan are afraid of technology.
Pakistan’s decision-makers are not technology-friendly. Even our banks do not have the technology for a modern economic system, and they are not investing in it. If even now Pakistan does not transfer its economic system to technology. Then this state will be left far behind.
According to a senior official of the Ministry of Information Technology. Even senior officials of the Treasury and Tax Departments are not fully on board with the concept of financial technology. And are slowing down the process of connecting the economy with technology.
DOLLARS ACCOUNTS RULE COULD GET FATF FALL AGAIN
According to Mehtab Haider, the promotion of foreign currency accounts also requires a lot of documentation.
In this regard, the State Bank should provide facilities. And related documents should be attached to the system as there is a risk of money laundering through these accounts.
“If foreign currency accounts are promoted without documentation, not only money laundering may increase. But Pakistan may also come under the FATF’s watch.”