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ISLAMABAD: The government Tuesday resolved longstanding issues and approved massive incentives for information technology and telecom sector, including revising and expanding the tax definition of IT/ITeS industry in consultation to ensure coverage of all the sub-sectors.

This was stated by Federal Minister for IT and Telecom Aminul Haque, while talking to Business Recorder, after meeting Federal Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin. Haque said that the breakthrough was made on Tuesday after meeting Tarin.

Haque said that the finance minister has approved a fund to provide cash rewards to IT/ITeS companies against the trade surplus of their exports of products and services from Pakistan.

This was a long-standing demand of [email protected]

He further said that one percent of IT and ITeS industry annual export remittances would be allocated to the PSEB every year to carry out HR skills development, capacity enhancement of IT companies, branding/marketing and business development, and establishment of software technology parks across Pakistan.

He said that it is great news for IT industry on tax matters.

"I express my gratitude to Shaukat Tareen, Finance Minister, for agreeing to form a high-level, high-powered dispute resolution committee for quick resolution of any tax-related disputes of IT/ITeS industry," he added.

Long standing demand of IT industry addressed, said Haque, adding that as per the directions of the Minister Finance, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would revise and expand the tax definition of IT/ITeS Industry in consultation with IT industry to ensure coverage of all IT and ITeS sub-sectors.

He said that the Minister of Finance agreed to undertake steps to facilitate foreign-owned companies operating in Pakistan with outbound remittances, and Razak Dawood, Advisor to the Prime Minister, for supporting the proposals of the Ministry of IT and Telecom.

Directions given by the finance minister to resolve profit repatriation issues for multinational technology companies.

These steps will help attract FDI towards Pakistan's tech sector, enable high-worth job growth, and enhance export income for the country. He further said that regarding Special Foreign Currency Accounts, steps have been agreed upon to facilitate opening foreign currency accounts under the FCA regime for IT and ITeS industry, startups and freelancers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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