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Digital Pakistan policy to be presented for approval

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has entered the era of digitisation through revolution, not evolution, said Federal Minister for Information Technology Anusha Rahman Khan. She stated this while chairing the 39th meeting of the board of directors of Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB).

“A lot more work needs to be done to keep up with technology, including amendments in rules of business, framework and laws to take full benefits of technology for development and growth,” said Rahman.

She said that ‘the digital Pakistan’ policy gives a framework and would be presented to the cabinet on Thursday (today) for approval. Due to strenuous efforts of the incumbent government, Pakistan’s IT and Information Technology Enabled Services (ITeS) sectors have developed exponentially through incentives and facilitation.

Last week, the prime minister announced a cash reward and extension of tax holiday on IT exports till 2025, reduction in sales tax to 5% in Islamabad Capital Territory and ensured long-term financing at 5% interest rate and formation of legislation for new IT parks.

Already existing benefits announced in the previous couple of years include 100% repatriation of capital and dividends, 3-year tax exemption for IT startups, and tax holiday for venture capital funds till June 2024 among others.

The minister said that the growth rate of exports has jumped to 125% over the last five years, adding that the IT industry is not only growing in terms of the number of companies and revenue, but also in exports and workforce on a yearly basis.

“These are, however, major achievements, and there is much more work to be done to reach the present government’s target of $10 billion in IT and ITeS exports by 2020,” she added.

 

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