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Fawad set to introduce cellular payment system

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ISLAMABAD: After successfully [launching][1] Pakistan’s first moon-sighting website and a calendar, Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry has come up with a new plan to introduce a payment system that will operate through mobile phones only.

“During a visit to China, I observed that every person was paying bills through cell phones. After reaching Pakistan I decided to introduce an integrated system due to which everything, from banana to car, will be purchased through cellphones,” Mr Chaudhry said while talking to Dawn.

It is worth mentioning that the website and calendar, launched by the minister, shows main Islamic dates and months for the next five years based on scientific evidence. The website, pakmoonsighting.pk, has been launched “to halt the moon-sighting controversy” that raises its head in the country every year prior to religious festivals.

He said that with the passage of time credit and debit cards would be abolished and all the things would be shifted to cell phones.

“We already have a system through which different banks and cellular companies receive utility bills through mobile apps.

‘‘However, I have decided to take banks and cellular companies on board to implement the brainchild of Ministry of Science and Technology,” he said.

Mr Chaudhry said that he had talked to the finance ministry and had also taken the State Bank governor into confidence on the matter. “I am hopeful that we will introduce the integrated system in Pakistan and after that people would be able to pay their bills through cell phones,” he said.

Application filed against minister

Meanwhile, Mufti Inamul Haq has filed a complaint with the Secretariat Police Station, alleging that Mr Chaudhry had deliberately violated norms of Islam and Sharia by introducing a moon-sighting calendar.

In the complaint, available with Dawn, it is stated that the minister had also used derogatory remarks against the religious figures and hurt the sentiments of the masses.

Mufti Inam has requested the Secretariat Police to lodge a First Information Report against Mr Chaudhry.