ISLAMABAD: The government has issued instructions to restore the Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) mechanism for downloading Google-purchased applications in Pakistan through Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs) for one month.
During this one-month timeline, all the relevant stakeholders will sit down together to devise a mechanism for resolving payments for paid applications to Google and other service providers.
Earlier, the State Bank of Pakistan had revoked the DCB mechanism, and the $34 million outstanding amount got stuck. Following the withdrawal of DCB mechanism, Google issued notices for non-availability of paid apps via mobile phones and later announced that purchased applications would be available only via credit card or debit card beginning Dec 1, 2022.
To resolve this issue, the IT and telecom minister wrote a letter to the Minister of Finance Ishaq Dar.
On Thursday, the SAPM on Finance, Tariq Bajwa, called the Minister for Information Technology and Telecom, Syed Aminul Haque, and informed him that the government had directed the SBP to restore the DCB mechanism for one month. The Google-paid application will continue to be downloaded via mobile phones in Pakistan.
According to the statement issued by the Ministry of IT and Telecom on Thursday, the Ministry of Finance has agreed to a proposal of Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Aminul Haque to evolve an effective mechanism and make payment against the Google App services.
The minister said, after the agreement, the payment would be made to Google as per schedule and all its application services would remain intact.
Syed Aminul Haque said that the State Bank of Pakistan had been directed to allow the implementation of the Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) policy for one month. The minister said the telecom operators were given one month to implement payment procedures. Within a month, the IT, finance ministries, and the State Bank would formulate a mechanism with mutual consultation of all stakeholders. The minister said that on the request of the telecom operators for assistance, a letter was written to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to make the payments and formulate a time frame.
The minister expressed gratitude to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Special Assistant to Prime Minister Tariq Bajwa for timely intervention to resolve the problems in the IT and telecom sectors.
The CEO of Jazz Pakistan, Aamir Ibrahim, tweeted that he was relieved to see the DCB issue progressing toward a resolution. He thanked the IT, telecom and finance ministers, and SAPM Tariq Bajwa for ensuring that Google Play apps were available to Pakistani users. He said that a whole-government approach was needed to strengthen the digital ecosystem.