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IT minister says implementation of new billing policy to be delayed by another month


Our Correspondent December 01, 2022
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ISLAMABAD:

Fears of paid services by Google being shut down in Pakistan finally came to an end on Thursday after IT Minister Syed Aminul Haque said that the Ministry of Finance has agreed to devise a mechanism for payments against the tech giant's app services. 

Earlier it was expected that Google Play Store services would no longer be available to Pakistani users after December 1 as the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had suspended the direct carrier billing (DCB) mechanism.

Users would have had to use their bank cards to avail the services and most won't be able to download apps from Google Play Store because of limited credit card facilities.

Read SBP rebuts holding payments to Google

The telecom ministry, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA ) and cellular service operators had approached the SBP to seek revocation of the step since the move would cause issues for customers.

However, Minister of Information Technology (IT) and Telecommunication Syed Aminul Haque said in a statement today that the Ministry of Finance has agreed to a proposal "with regard to evolving an effective mechanism and making payment against the Google App services".

He maintained that "after the agreement, the payment would be made to Google as per the schedule and all its application services to remain intact."

He also revealed that the central bank has been instructed to delay the implementation of the policy suspending DCB and added that the IT and finance ministries will decide on the plan of action in collaboration with the SBP within a month.

The minister also stated that telecom operators had been granted a month’s time to implement the new billing policy however, they had appealed to the IT ministry for assistance on the matter.

Haque also expressed his gratitude towards Special Assistant for Finance Tariq Bajwa for his timely decision to alert Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif whereby the crisis was averted.

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