Overview of e-commerce in Pakistan: By M Ashraf

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Banking sector
When the government started an information-technology (IT) and e-commerce initiative in early 2000, the banks were expected to lead the way into e-commerce. However, banking sector is the leading spender on information communications technology, the most progress in e-commerce has been in e government.
Half of the country’s 7,000 commercial-bank branches, including 90% of the branches in urban areas, had been computerized. Many banks and exchange companies offer online funds transfers from overseas. . A few of banks offer mobile-phone banking, where customers can pay utility bills using their mobile phones
The State Bank of Pakistan permits Internet merchant accounts. However, inadequate infrastructure and security concerns remain. The transactions that occur use international credit cards, which are processed outside Pakistan.
Central board of revenue
The Central Board of Revenue, the tax authority, started allowing electronic filing of sales tax and federal excise returns by private and public companies. A lot of tax payers are using this facility of paying the tax.
Ministry of science technology
The Ministry of Science and Technology has launched the National Information Technology Policy. It is developed by a team that included working groups on the following: human-resource development; IT in government and databases; IT market development and support; IT fiscal issues; telecoms, legislation and intellectual-property rights; IT research and development; Internet development; software export; e-commerce; and incentives for IT investment.
ISP’s
The government is working to overcome all the problems which occur in the development of e-commerce and has made some progress. The number of Internet users in Pakistan is growing fast. Pakistan has more than 170 Internet service providers. this technology is becoming more closer and open for the users now.
Telecom
Telecoms deregulation has resulted in an increase in the country’s teledensity, especially in mobile telephony. The use of mobile phone no doubt is becoming more and more with every day. Telecom companies are earning a lot in this sector.
Software export board
The Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) has a number of programs to activate the local information-technology (IT) sector. The board is allowing local companies with financial aid.
All these efforts are only done to promote the scope of e-commerce in Pakistan.

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