IT Industry Seeks Long-term Policy Consistency

Hi everyone! I hope you are all doing well. Welcome back to another blog. This article will discuss the topic in detail “IT Industry Seeks Long-term Policy Consistency”.  Muhammad Zohaib Khan is the Chairman of the Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA). He has informed us that the government is considering providing incentives to the IT & ITeS industry. The aim is to increase IT exports in the next fiscal year. It is reaching $4.5 billion, compared to the expected $2.5 – 3.0 billion for this year. The final figures are yet to be confirmed.

Mr. Khan emphasized the need for consistent legal coverage in various areas of the IT industry. These areas include fiscal, financial, taxation, exports, HR, and infrastructure policies. Additionally, he stressed the importance of this stability for 10 to 15 years. Mr. Khan believes it will attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and long-term investments from the private sector. This stability would also support rapid and sustainable export growth. It increases the number of skilled IT professionals and fosters partnerships with international players.

Zohaib Khan stressed the crucial need for the Pakistani government. That is to ensure consistent, reliable, and uninterrupted implementation of IT industry policies. He highlighted that the IT industry had witnessed numerous policy changes and incentive packages in the past decade. However, these policies and packages become ineffective with each change in government, resulting in adverse consequences.

Zohaib Khan stated that in March 2022, the government announced an IT Policy & Incentives Package. That was widely celebrated by IT companies. However, the following month, April 2022, witnessed a change in the federal government, rendering the entire package ineffective.

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The Chairman of P@SHA, emphasizing the top priority of the IT industry, has urged the government to declare a tax holiday for the IT and ITeS sector in income tax, dividends tax, capital gains tax, and profits tax for 10 years, similar to several other countries globally. This measure takes into account the significant potential for achieving a remarkable annual growth rate of 30% in IT exports consistently.

Zohaib Khan emphasized the need to allocate significant funds for the IT industry in the federal budget 2023-24. These funds should mainly focus on developing human resources and skills, improving infrastructure, enhancing the positive perception and reputation of Pakistan, and strengthening the capacity of the technology ecosystem within the country.

Mr. Ali Ihsan, Senior Vice Chairman of P@SHA, emphasized the importance of the government promptly addressing the demands of the IT industry. Moreover, this action will unlock the complete potential of IT exports, fostering sustainable economic growth, and job opportunities, and positioning Pakistan as a strong contender in the global digital landscape.


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