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To help payments mechanism National advisory council looks to draft law on e-commerce

To help payments mechanism: National advisory council looks to draft law on e-commerce

ISLAMABAD: As Pakistan moves towards adopting greater digital technology, the National Advisory Council (NAC) on e-commerce has decided to forward recommendations on the draft legislation to promote and protect consumer rights and data.

In this regard, a meeting of NAC was held in the Ministry of Commerce with various stakeholders. The council was tasked to put forward recommendations towards formalising and legalising e-commerce including legislation for protection of consumers rights and data.

The meeting was attended by representatives from ministry of information technology, State Bank of Pakistan and private sector, and discussed the potential scope of e-commerce, which can enhance country’s foreign reserves and exports to a great extent.

Earlier on the directives of the Prime Minister, the commerce minster established the NAC on e-commerce with a 48-member policy unit, representing senior officers of various ministers and relevant stakeholders, which were tasked to formulate the national policy framework on e-commerce in its maiden meeting.

A senior officer in the Ministry of Commerce told The Express Tribune that the draft legislation will be prepared by next month and will be put up to the federal cabinet for formal approval.

The officer said that a brainstorming session held in the commerce ministry has decided to finalise recommendations for enacting of an effective and workable law for streamlining e-commerce in the country.

The official said that among other challenges, one of the most apparent one to the emergence of e-commerce is the absence of a formal payment mechanism and this issue was discussed with the representatives of the State Bank, who have expressed their readiness to formulate a mechanism in this regard.

Besides, the officer said that a comprehensive mechanism will also be developed in the legislation to protect consumer rights, which will help in formalising and legalising the sector.

At present, there is no available exact data regarding e-commerce in Pakistan due to absence of any payment mechanism.

However, the officer said that experts suggest that the country has a potential of billions of dollars trade if this sector is properly channelised and facilitated.

During the recent World Trade Organization summit in Nairobi, one of the sessions was on e-commerce, where commerce minister Khurram Dastgir suggested forming a forum of friendly countries to promote e-commerce and to guide the developing countries towards this emerging market. These countries include Pakistan, Japan, China and some African countries.

Courtesy : Express Tribune



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