The Ministry of e-commerce had been working on the E-commerce policy since its approval on the 1st of October 2019. Such an initiative, taken on the government level shows the government’s keen knowledge and awareness towards the need for secure and effective e-commerce workplace in Pakistan. The E-commerce policy, if fully implemented, will be a great milestone achieved for Pakistan towards development and progression in 2020.
Here are the 6 Key Features Of The E-commerce Policy consisting of several sub-features, presented by the Ministry of E-commerce. And they welcome open criticism and feedback from the nation.
1.Securing And Spreading The E-commerce Platform
This point of the E-commerce policy is designed to make the cross-border and national e-commerce environment more secure and ensure enhanced quality.
Firstly it involves the allowing of re-export/re-shipment of goods, secondly, it aims the promulgation of the National Single Window Act. Furthermore, it makes the registration with SECP, a mandatory requirement for maintaining a physical presence in Pakistan and aims to regulate the conduct of online businesses by online marketplaces to prevent malpractices.
It also makes it mandatory for online businesses to provide customer support and dispute resolution systems, along with setting up alternate, independent dispute resolution systems.
Moreover, it vows to offer Data Sovereignty and Data Localization through Pakistan’s cloud Policy.
2. Improving, Securing And Widening The E-Commerce Payment Infrastructure
The E-commerce policy aims to enable PayPak to process CNP transactions in Pakistan and explore possibilities of co-badging of PayPak with international card payment schemes.
Moreover, it considers allowing international payment gateways to enter Pakistan or to convert ‘Pakistan National Payment Gateway’ in ‘Pakistan International Payment Gateway’.
The policy will also ensure quality banking services for local, online-merchant accounts and suggests amendments to be made in federal and provincial Consumer Protection laws to cover e-commerce transactions, stablishing consumer courts in all districts of all provinces and training judicial officers for legal services related to e-commerce.
3. Extending Public Awareness About E-Commerce
The E-commerce policy takes special care of spreading awareness among the masses about e-commerce. It plans to do so by propagating awareness messages on e-commerce websites, portals and Apps. Also by holding public awareness seminars on e-commerce.
4. Taxation Agenda For E-Commerce Sellers
The policy aims to establish a taxation agenda and regulatory process for the E-commerce market. It plans to do so by building capacity and infrastructure development in tax systems for the taxation of digital goods. They also expect Provincial revenue authorities to harmonize their sales tax regimes to avoid double taxation and to make the taxation process easier they tend to introduce single-paged sales tax return forms.
5. Extending ICT Infrastructure And Telecom Services Across Pakistan
The E-commerce policy aims to establish a uniform ICT infrastructure across Pakistan especially in remote areas and spread the ICT sector by developing IT valleys and server farms through a public-private partnership
to strengthen the building blocks of ICT infrastructure such as hardware, software and networks. It also will dedicate a separate fund for Research and Development, incubation centres and business solutions.
The policy also highlights the establishment of a National E-commerce Council Secretariat or Policy Unit in order to give special attention to issues related to e-commerce.
6. Utilizing E-commerce To Help Business Grow
Pakistan’s E-commerce policy 2019, comes with a vision of revolutionizing the traditional business logistics to digitalized system automation in B2C.
The policy also intends to support SMEs and startups through SMEDA to impart trainings for App/website development, use of online platforms and SBP to introduce micro-finance loan schemes and project Initiatives in
collaboration with public-private partnership.
Moreover, through this policy, the government aims to promote and facilitate economic activities of e-commerce in order to ensure global connectivity and gain access to the foreign market.