Peshawar  -    Finance Minister Asad Umar yesterday said that Pakistan was in talks with Paypal to start online payment giant’s operations in the country.

Speaking at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Peshawar, Umar rubbished reports that federal government was impeding PayPal’s entry into Pakistani market, claiming that it was actually ‘chasing’ the online payments giant.

Umar was asked if his ministry or any other federal institution was against PayPal expanding its operations into Pakistan.

“What you’ve been told about PayPal is completely wrong,” the finance minister told the reporter who had raised the query.

“PayPal is neither stuck at my desk, nor the State Bank, nor any other government institution. The situation is actually reverse. We are [actually] chasing PayPal. I took this even though this issue is not directly related to me,” he said.

“I know that this is a fantastic source for the employment of our youth, our boys and girls who work from their homes. The non-availability of PayPal or any other effective online payment system causes them a lot of problems. This is why I took the initiative myself and had a message sent to the PayPal chief executive officer and told him that, This is such an important issue, if you want, I can fly to the US myself and meet you. We have made contact with them and initiated a dialogue with them.” Umar said that in addition to his efforts to bring PayPal to Pakistan, he was working on another online payment system.

“After PayPal, the second [biggest online payment system] in the world is AliPay, whose subsidiary is Ant Financial. This Ant Financial has acquired the majority shares of Telenor Bank, which was previously used to be Tameer Bank. In my talks with them, they have assured me that among their first few projects will be an online payment system. So that [is also on the table] but we will keep on chasing PayPal as well.”

Umar said the meeting between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde at Dubai was highly successful as the later expressed willingness to extend support for economic stability of Pakistan.

He said a consensus was developed in the meeting between government and IMF for a financial bailout package and the nation will be taken into confidence once the accord was finalised.

Umar was optimistic that this loan package would be the last one with the IMF and interest of the country would also be protected.

The minister said that meeting between Premier Khan and IMF management on the sidelines of World Government Summit was not specifically held for holding negotiations on the bailout package. He said the IMF didn’t offer financial assistance on sympathetic grounds. He said government was committed to provide level playing field to business community.

He disclosed that during a recent meeting in Turkey a Strategic Economic Framework was established under which, Turkey will provide platform to Pakistan for exporting of its products into Europe while Pakistan will help Turkey in exploring new avenues in Eastern countries, he maintained.

He said taxation system would be simplified. About payment of rebate on export, he said payment will start in this regard on priority basis.

The minister said government had decided to reduce ratio of GIDC which will be implemented after getting approval from parliament.