The following article is devoted to Overview of e-commerce in pakistan. The government of Pakistan had taken an initiative to start an e-commerce and information technology sector in the early months of year 2000. Though the banks were expected to lead the way into the e-commerce, the result was that e-commerce had made its progress in e-government. Since then, more than half of the country’s bank branches have been completely computerized. Facilities such as mobile-phone banking, NIFT, transfer from overseas, etc were brought over by emerging technologies.
State banks were the first to bring over the online transactions in Pakistan in the year 2001 but it became quite famous only after the Citibank (US) offered the accounts in the year 2006. In December 2005, the tax authority of Pakistan started allowing electronic filing of tax returns.
The National Information Technology Policy was launched by the Ministry of Science and Technology which developed a special team for this purpose. This team worked on the following departments: human resource development, IT in government, cyber law, software export, IT fiscal issues, e-commerce, telecoms. A lot of projects went booming in the year 2006 amongst the public and private sectors. Pakistan also became a part of the 15 member Asia pacific council for facilitation procedures and practices.
Though e-commerce came into Pakistan almost a decade back, the government is facing a lot of problems with respect to maintenance and development of the same. This is because of the barriers faced by Pakistan such as improper infrastructure, lack of security for internet transactions and few internet users.
The government is indeed acting fast enough to overcome these problems and is succeeding fairly. The people who are using the internet have increased drastically from the year 2005-2006. Software tech parks have been established in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore. Many other IT incentives have been obtained by the government of Pakistan since then.
Departments of e-commerce such as Foreign Investment, Intellectual Property, consumer protection, Contract law and Dispute resolution, Basis of Taxation, Classification of e-commerce transactions, compliance and enforcement issues have undergone drastic development in the past years. These departments remain a stronghold for revenue generation of the Pakistan government. An added advantage for people earning well in Pakistan is that there is basis of taxation and there are no different tax rates at which people ought to pay their taxes.
Foreign investments allowed the emergence of call centers in Pakistan. The first call center that was established in Pakistan was Align Technologies (US) in the year 2000. The government of Pakistan is helped to a greater extent by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation and the World Bank for new projects for the Information Technology Development.
Ever since e-commerce came into existence in Pakistan it has been facing a series of intermittence. If only Pakistan could develop more on its infrastructure and other social and politic factors, e-commerce can make a permanent and effective foot-print in Pakistan. To implement this it not only needs support of other countries of world organizations but also from the people of Pakistan itself.