Google suspends carrier-paid apps in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Despite repeated assurance from Federal Minister for IT & Telecom Syed Aminul Haque, Google temporarily suspended the purchase of carrier-paid apps for Pakistani users.

Google has temporarily suspended the purchase of carrier-paid apps in Pakistan owing to non-payment of outstanding dues following the shutdown of the direct payment mechanism by the State Bank of Pakistan.

The development was confirmed by the Ministry of Information Technology & Telecom (MoITT).

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) suspended the Direct Carrier Billing (DCB), however, it is worth mentioning here that the suspension only implies local transit. Meanwhile, Google is still accepting payments for paid apps through the credit card option. Google carrier-paid apps are only suspended.

Meanwhile, Amin-ul-Haque said that the telecom operators had been given a one-month time to implement payment procedures and within a month, the Ministry of IT, Finance, and State Bank would formulate a plan of action in mutual consultation in that regard.

Syed Aminul Haque proposed a plan for paying for Google App services which was accepted by the Ministry of Finance. The minister at the time stated that SBP had been instructed to postpone the DCB mechanism policy’s implementation for one month.

It may be noted here that last week the SBP suspended $34 million in payments to international service providers like Google, Amazon, and Meta, which results in the suspension of carrier-paid apps services in Pakistan.

CEO Jazz also praising the efforts of IT Minister Syed Amin-ul-Haque, also thanked Ishaq Dar and Tariq Bajwa in a tweet stating, “Relieved to see the DCB issue progressing towards a resolution. Thank you Syed Amin-ul-Haque and Thank you Ishaq Dar & SAPM on Finance Tariq Bajwa for ensuring Google Play apps remain available to Pakistani users. A whole-of-government approach is needed to strengthen the digital ecosystem”