The Ministry of Finance has agreed to unblock payments to international service providers, including Google Playstore, a move that will prevent the impending suspension of Google PlayStore paid services in Pakistan. He also said that telecommunications companies were also given a month to implement the new payment procedure in accordance with the instructions of the SBP.
This was stated by the Minister of Information Technology and Telecommunications Aminul Haq, informing the media about his discussion with the relevant authorities. The minister took action after reports surfaced that paid Google Play Store services would not be available to users in Pakistan from Dec. 1 as the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) blocked payments of $34 million to international service providers by suspending direct payments. carrier billing mechanism (DCB).
While SBP was fired as “baseless and misleading” reports that he withheld payments from Google, the telecom industry and other stakeholders claimed that things were not so good and there were at least some “unannounced restrictions” as the government sought to limit the outflow of dollars.
Information Technology Minister Syed Aminul Haq said on Thursday that the finance ministry had agreed to develop a mechanism for making payments through Google App Services and instructed the State Bank of Pakistan to delay the recall. carrier direct billing (DCB) for telcos, easing concerns about possible unavailability of paid Google apps in Pakistan.
“The Ministry of Finance agreed with the proposal of the Federal Minister of Information Technology and Telecommunications, Syed Amin Ul Haq, to develop an effective mechanism and make payments for Google applications services. The minister said that after the agreement is concluded, payment will be made to Google in accordance with the schedule, and all its application services will remain intact.
The statement also quoted Haq as saying that SBP has also been ordered to delay the implementation of the DCB policy by one month.
Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) is an online mobile payment method that allows users to make purchases by charging payments directly from their mobile carrier account rather than using a debit or credit card. Last month, the central bank, citing a violation of foreign exchange rules, announced that it was removing the designation of telco banks to make payments on behalf of telco consumers for video games, entertainment content, etc., in line with the DCB.
“However, in order to facilitate their legitimate IT-related payments, telcos have been advised through their banks to resubmit their requests,” SBP said.
The SBP’s actions have raised concerns that direct payments through mobile operators will not be available to citizens in the coming days to purchase some services. Some reports have said that the paid Google app and other services will not be available in Pakistan from 1 December, although free Google apps and other free services will remain available.
Meanwhile, there were also reports that SBP withdrew a $34 million payment to international service providers to limit the dollar outflow and subsequent tug-of-war between the IT sector and the State Bank.
A statement from the Information Technology Ministry released today cited Haq as saying telecom operators are now given a one-month deadline to “introduce payment procedures, and within a month the Ministry of Information Technology, Finance and the State Bank will formulate an action plan during mutual consultations on this issue.”
He recalled that at the request of telecom operators, a letter was written to the Minister of Finance, Ishak Dar, with a request to make payments in the PlayStore and formulate the terms for the implementation of payment procedures. MOIT expressed its gratitude to Dar and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Tariq Bajwa for the timely resolution of the issue, the Information Technology Ministry said in a statement.