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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication Syed Amin Ul Haque, on Wednesday, expressed deep concerns over the issuance of tax notices to the IT and telecom sector by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), while saying that such measures were creating confusion in the sector and investors, and could affect the process of economy stabilisation through remittances.

The federal minister expressed those concerns, while chairing the 11th meeting of Prime Minister’s Taskforce on IT and Telecom, here on Wednesday.

Secretary IT Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui was also present at the meeting.

Member IT Syed Junaid Imam gave a detailed briefing to the task force on the reforms being made in the field of information technology, various policies, and approved measures.

The meeting was informed that a five percent reward had been decided for those who had shown outstanding performance in export remittances in the IT industry, and a summary had been sent to the Ministry of Finance for approval. Further, the use of locally-developed software, reduction of taxes on IT industry, Personal Data Protection Bill 2020, Pakistan’s first cloud policy, and National Cyber Security Policy 2021 are in the final stages.

Member Telecom Muhammad Omar Malik informed the meeting that the notification was issued on March 24, after finalising all the steps of the new Mobile Spectrum Policy.

A letter has been sent to the FBR for reducing taxes on the telecom sector.

The Cabinet had approved the mobile device manufacturing policy on the suggestions of the Ministry of IT, he added.

The federal minister said the Ministry of IT and Telecom was committed for accomplishing Prime Minister’s Digital Pakistan Vision.

Haque said that digitalisation was the topmost priority of the Ministry of IT, adding that steps were under way for fulfilling “Digital Pakistan vision”.

He noted that the process of digitalisation would become easy following policies for IT and Telecom sector and completion of projects.

The federal minister for IT also offered thanks to members of the PM’s Taskforce on IT and Telecom for their recommendations and guideline to take forward the process of digitalisation in the country.

He also emphasised the need of providing better incentives to the IT industry and resolving the issues of the IT companies.

Earlier, members of the PM’s Taskforce on IT and Telecom expressed satisfaction on the performance of Ministry of IT and Telecom, especially for achieving the targets regarding digitalisation.

The meeting was also given detailed briefing about different policies upon which the IT Ministry was working, and the different projects.

The meeting was attended by Chairman Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) Barkan Saeed, MD PSEB Osman Nasir, and senior officers of the MOITT besides member of the PM’s Taskforce on IT and Telecom.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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