- Says government has decided to reduce tax for registered IT freelancers to zero
ISLAMABAD: While inaugurating the “national e-commerce portal” on Monday, Prime Minister Imran Khan stated that there is potential to increase IT exports to $50 billion in the next few years that can be very helpful in dealing with the economic problem of trade deficit.
After launching the portal, the prime minister said the country was almost at the verge of default when his party came to power and he used to ask his cabinet members not to worry, but now, “I am asking the opposition not to fear”.
He said that Bill Gates was invited by him to Pakistan with the intention to get him involved in the IT sector. He stated that there would be good news in the coming days in this regard. He also acknowledged Gates’ support to Pakistan in polio eradication.
The premier further stated the government has decided to reduce tax for registered IT freelancers to zero as IT industry is youth-driven because the world is moving towards digitalization. He said Pakistan has to keep up with the world in IT to reap the benefit of digitalisation and increase IT exports.
With a few incentives to the IT sector, its exports have increased from $2 billion to around $4 billion and the government is going to give more incentives to promote IT sector, he added.
The premier deplored that existing system has been a hurdle in the way of talent even though there is abundant potential of talent in the country. He cited example of cricket in this regard.
He said that the education system has also become a hurdle and it is being revamped to provide equal opportunity to everyone. IT provides opportunities to female besides 60 percent youth population can also be exploited through IT, he said. He said that if India can increase its IT exports from $1 billion to $100 billion in 10 years, why Pakistan cannot increase its IT exports to $50 billion in the next five years.
The premier also distributed awards to top investment startups, and Airlift remained on top in raising investment.
Earlier, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said that world is going to become a digital economy and Pakistan cannot afford to remain behind in this march. He said that a few days ago, Raast was launched that would enable people-to-people transaction in a minute by pressing a mobile button, and through Roshan Digital Account, the overseas Pakistani can invest and sell and purchase through online.
We wanted to move along with the world for which there is need to bring about improvement in internet services. He said regarding the 5G spectrum, the government focus would be more on services than the price of auction because improvement in services is critical for the IT growth.
Tarin stated that the gap between imports and exports and low saving rate are major hurdles to a sustainable growth. He stated that IT exports can be increased to $50 billion in the next few years to bridge the trade deficit to a large extent.
Aon Abbas, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on e-commerce also shared the details of the measures being taken to increase the IT trade.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022