The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday gave the federal government two weeks to submit its response to a petition filed against the lack of e-commerce facilities in the country.
IHC CJ Athar Minallah issued notices to the commerce and information technology ministries, noting that the petitioner was aggrieved because the respondents had failed to implement the mandatory requirements envisaged in the e-Commerce Policy, 2019.
The petition, a citizen named Junaied Hafeez, informed the court that Pakistan had no access to the largest e-commerce company in the world, Amazon.
He elaborated that since a decade, Amazon had restricted anyone from Pakistan from logging in to its website because of the country’s unsecured payment method.
“No official negotiations of offer to start operations of Amazon or PayPal in Pakistan have been made thus far,” the petition read.
“It transpires that the government failed [to take] this simple yet logical towards globalisation and modernisation.”
The petitioner pointed out that the e-commerce industry had grown to over $4 trillion worldwide but Pakistan had failed to cash in on the opportunities this sector offered because of the government’s “lack of interest”.
He further pleaded to the court to declare the e-Commerce Policy, 2019 flawed and defective.
“The e-Commerce Policy, 2019 is defective and flawed in many aspects inasmuch as the same admits to amend the existing laws of consumer protection. In compassion, China Russia and many other countries have special provisions in their consumer protection laws pertaining to e-commerce,”
The petitioner maintained that data protection law(s) were a condition precedent for the successful and growing e-commerce industry. “However, there is no data protection law in Pakistan,” he added.
Amazon marketplace has 8.5 million total sellers worldwide. There are 2.1 million active sellers.
Millions of small and medium-sized businesses from around the world are selling on Amazon.
So far this year 537,000 sellers joined all Amazon marketplaces. This equals to 3,091 new sellers every day, or 128 every hour, or even 2 every minute. At the current rate 1.1 million new sellers will have joined Amazon by the end of the year.
This is adding to the millions of sellers already on the marketplace, and was mostly contributed to by 96,210 new sellers in Amazon.com, 67,636 new sellers in Amazon.nl, and 49,764 new sellers in Amazon.in.
Adviser to the PM on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood recently said Pakistan was in the process of registering the country’s goods sellers with US e-commerce giant Amazon and has sent a list of 38 exporters for registration.
The initial list of 38 exporters comprises surgical and sports goods, and home textile sectors and the list will be expanded to other sectors in the near future, after successful trial of the shortlisted companies.