Details suggest that the matter was resolved once the Prime Minister ordered the Standing Committee on Information Technology to look into the Google Payments issue and resolve it as soon as possible
The government of Pakistan just cleared $34 million in Google’s pending payment issues after weeks of holding the funds because of clearance and permission issues. This blockage of funds was what forced Google to suspend carrier-paid apps, limiting users to pay only through their credit and debit cards.
According to officials from the Ministry of IT and Telecom (MoITT), the longstanding issue was resolved once they approached the Finance Ministry and asked them to treat the matter as a priority. The officials also revealed that payments for all the companies were made on Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s order.
The blockage of funds went on to cause big problems for direct carrier billing (DCB) users in Pakistan. Once the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) blocked $34 million in Direct Carrier Billing payments for companies such as Google, Amazon, and Meta, Google retaliated by suspending carrier app payments in the country.
Google, Meta and Amazon are a few of many foreign companies that are facing a payment blockade issue in Pakistan. This issue stems from a poor state of economy and foreign exchange reserves that have pushed the state bank of Pakistan to squeeze the release of foreign payments and delay letter of credits.
The economic and dollar shortage situation have gotten so intense that the State Bank has even refused LC’s for the import of raw materials in the medicine industry. This payment delay has been a huge blow to the pharmaceutical industry, causing medicine shortage in the country.