ISLAMABAD - The government is working on formulating licensing requirements for establishing and operating e-commerce businesses in the country.

The e-commerce in Pakistan is currently at an initial stage. Past few years have seen a rising trend of domestic online shopping and in this regard Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications and Ministry of Commerce are working to formulate national E-Commerce Policy Framework for digital trade in the country.

The parameters of a legal framework for regularization of the sector include enactment of national law on consumer protection specifying rights, obligations, liabilities and penalties for both sellers and consumers and also enactment of Privacy and Data Protection Laws including provisions for e-transaction to enable and e-contracts.

The other parameters are amendments in Foreign Exchange Regulations of State Bank of Pakistan to facilitate cross border electronic transactions, establishment of dispute resolution mechanism for e-commerce and formulating on of licensing requirements for establishing and operating e-commerce businesses.

When contacted, official sources on Monday highlighted steps being taken for promotion of e-commerce and online shopping in the country and said two national workshops and several meetings of Working Groups have been held so far to sensitize the relevant stakeholders on formulation of tire said framework .

Recommendations of Working Groups would form basis for national E-Commerce Policy Framework .

Moreover, the sources said State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has issued various regulations to provide such protection while rules for payment system operators and payment service providers under Payment Systems and Electronic Fund Transfers Act- 2007 have been framed.

The sources said currently the mechanism in place to provide protection to consumers include Prevention of Electronic Crimes  Act, 2016 while Electronic Transaction Ordinance, 2002 provides for recognition and facilitation of documents, records, information, communications and transactions in electronic form and accreditation of certification.