PESHAWAR (NADER BUNERI): Businessmen in the gemstone trading sector are voicing concerns over the absence of an agreement between the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and international online payment giant PayPal.

This lack of cooperation is identified as a major obstacle hindering the online export of precious stones from Pakistan to Europe and the United States, where international traders heavily rely on PayPal for secure transactions.

Despite a plentiful supply of gemstones to the local market from various parts of the country, the burgeoning gemstone business between local and international customers in Peshawar faces numerous challenges due to Pakistan’s lack of an agreement with PayPal. The absence of a formal arrangement restricts the online promotion of this business, as the PayPal account acts as a mediator and guarantor, ensuring the secure transfer of funds and the export of gemstones to international partners.

Muhammad Noman, a gemstone businessman, highlighted that although precious stones are being sold online in Peshawar, Pakistan is not a member country of the PayPal account holder states. Malak Farukh, Senior Vice President of the Gemstone Dealers Association, emphasized the difficulties faced by relying on third-party accounts in other countries, stressing the need for PTA to register itself with the international PayPal account.

Gemstone traders are urging Prime Minister Imran Khan to issue directives to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and the Ministry of Information Technology to facilitate the registration of the country with the international PayPal account. This step is seen as essential not only to promote gemstone exports but also to streamline the work of gemstone dealers at the international level.

It’s worth mentioning that Pakistan holds significant potential as an export destination for gemstones, with vast reservoirs in Swat, Katlang, Mohmand, and Waziristan districts. The government’s sluggish approach to exploration and lease procedures hampers the smooth supply of gemstones to international markets, potentially costing the nation billions of dollars in revenue.

The gemstone experts in Namak Mandi, Peshawar, refine rough stones from the mountainous areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the northern regions, enhancing their market value.

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