|Standing Committee considers petition filed by Muhammad Bilal Mukhtar – File Photo: Dawn News|
Quora News ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue has directed the Finance Secretary to hold a meeting with all stakeholders and ensure an inquiry into why PayPal is not operating in Pakistan.
According to the Dawn newspaper, the committee also recommended that the import of mobile phones specially designed for the visually impaired should be exempted from customs tax.
The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue was held at the Parliament House under the chairmanship of Senator Talha Mahmood.
The meeting discussed the issue that people are unable to take full advantage of ‘Amazon’ because ‘PayPal’ does not work in Pakistan.
The standing committee considered a petition filed by Muhammad Bilal Mukhtar, a citizen, who had asked the Senate Secretariat to look into the matter.
The petitioner said, “We want PayPal in Pakistan because there are many people working as freelancers and we are facing payment issues and transferring or receiving money from PayPal freelancing websites. The easiest way to do it.
The Senate Secretariat later forwarded the request to the Senate Committee.
During the meeting of the Standing Committee, a representative of the State Bank of Pakistan said that there was no restriction on PayPal by the Central Bank.
According to a document presented to the Finance Division Committee, PayPal is a private company with a presence in various countries, but PayPal has not approached the SBP for this.
Entering a particular market is a business decision and the SBP believes that there is no restriction on any international payment in Pakistan which may comply with the relevant foreign exchange regulations.
The members of the standing committee said that PayPal is operating in many small countries with less population than Pakistan but surprisingly they are not operating in Pakistan.
The committee called on Finance Secretary Yousuf Khan to hold a meeting with all stakeholders to find out why PayPal and e-commerce giant Amazon are not operating in the country and called for a report a month later.
It may be recalled that in May this year, Amazon added Pakistan to its list of sellers, but due to non-availability of PayPal, people are unable to avail this facility properly.
Freelancers and e-commerce activists have long demanded that PayPal be brought to Pakistan, and former finance minister Asad Umar has vowed to bring PayPal to Pakistan, but their efforts have been in vain. ۔
If PayPal comes to Pakistan, it will benefit 200,000 freelancers and 7,000 registered small business owners, as well as thousands of online workers who are not registered.
The committee also discussed another public petition seeking exemption from customs duty on mobile phones for the blind.
Representatives of the Customs Wing told the committee members that the issue was being investigated in consultation with the Ministry of Health.
The chairman of the committee directed the representatives of the Ministry of Commerce and Health to attend the next meeting so that the committee could be apprised of the issue.
Earlier, a senior official of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) briefed the committee on the tax notices issued during the last three years.
Senators Kamil Ali Agha, Musaddiq Malik, Farooq H Naik and other committee members said that the FBR had issued millions of notices in the last three years, but they could not collect tax as per the number of notices issued.