Dr. Umar Saif, the Caretaker Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, has announced an upcoming program that will allow citizens to obtain smartphones through monthly installments.
In a meeting with officials from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), cellular operators, and GSMA, the minister revealed that policy directives to the PTA would be issued soon. He emphasized that the consultation process with all stakeholders was in its final stages, and the policy directives would reflect their recommendations.
Dr. Saif highlighted the strong interest from cellular operators, banks, and investment companies in the smartphone financing program. However, he stressed the need to establish a mechanism to protect these organizations from potential losses.
Furthermore, he noted that smartphones of individuals who fail to make installment payments would be blocked. Additionally, there is consideration for blocking the Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) of non-compliant consumers.
In a separate meeting with a Senate delegation from Rwanda, Dr. Saif acknowledged Rwanda’s successful “phones-for-all” policy and discussed the potential of the Rwandan market as an export destination for 33 cellphone manufacturers operating in Pakistan. He also highlighted Pakistan’s previous exports of over 10 million phones to various African markets.