After the three years of efforts, the federal cabinet approved the E-Commerce Policy Framework on 2nd October 2019.
The Framework was approved in a cabinet meeting while approving the framework the Prime Minister Imran Khan said that E-Commerce will add synergy to Pakistan, he further announced few programs that will add to digital connectivity, such as kamyab Jawan, and One Women One Bank Account Initiative.
He further explained the E-commerce scope, by giving general sales data examples of neighboring countries, that India and china sales are low, E-Commerce is greater in developed countries than developing countries.
E-Commerce Policy Framework
Under the policy, the Payment methods are clearly indicated that 60% of transactions are COD cash on delivery transactions, although there is a gradual shift from cash on delivery to digital payments.
The payments will be digital beyond the number of Rs: 10000 from September 2022, and efforts will be made to convert all the COD cash on delivery payments into digital payments within the coming 10 years.
The current position of E-Commerce transaction in the framework was mentioned 60%/40%, which means 60% is cash on delivery and 40% is digital payments. It was recommended in the E-Commerce policy framework that the Ministry of Information Technology with the collaboration of State Bank of Pakistan will approach the digital payment gateways, such as PayPal to ensure the availability of international transaction gateways in Pakistan.
The approved definition of E-Commerce as per the E-Commerce Policy Framework is defined as buying and selling goods and services through electronic transactions conducted online using the internet.
Under the framework, it is recommended that the National E-Commerce Council will be formed and the re-export of the faulty goods will be allowed and the E-Procurement model will also be allowed.
The Ordinance of Electronic 2002 and prevention of crime bill 2016 provides the roots for legislation infrastructure of an E-Commerce operation. Along with this, an Electronic Certification council has been established that will deal with e-signatures and e-commerce for all e-commerce transactions.
There are nine factors that are part of the policy framework:
- E-commerce regulation and facilitation
- Financial inclusion and digitization
- Empowering youth and SMEs
- Global connectivity and participation in multilateral negotiations.
- Consumer protection.
- Taxation structure
- ICT infrastructure and telecom services
- Data protection and investment
However, the regulatory mechanism is a week in Pakistan in terms of data and information privacy, dispute resolution and an insurance policy for e-commerce transactions.
Under the policy, it was mentioned to create a court to solve the cases related to E-Commerce in all districts and separate courts for federal and provisional levels.
Moreover, it was also mentioned that the only businesses can get registration in the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan having sales greater than 1 Million per year, and all online businesses must maintain a physical location/address, and a code of conduct will also be introduced mandatory of e-commerce businesses.
The official announcement of the e-commerce platform in Pakistan indicated that the majority of women and the small and medium businesses will be encouraged by this type of official e-commerce platform, and in turn, prosperity will be the near future of Pakistan.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Imran Khan realized that this is the first step taken towards the prosperity of the country. And that we’re not only the words the bills regarding Kamyaab Jawan and other technical skill bills were passed on 7th January 2020.
In the speech to media Foreign Minister Pervaiz Khatak mentioned that “the 3 bills were passed without any amendment, there were no amendments in the bills, no political pressure, and Minister Imran khan showed the rare appearance during the voting for the bills.
We are not far now from the platform of known as a digital country, E-Commerce is adopting fast into the roots of the trade-in Pakistan.
The E-Commerce is now paying the best part and it is estimated to increase further in the future, so that as mentioned in the Policy framework we will have to do all our transactions digitally from the year 2022.