ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has directed Information Technology and Telecom Division to submit a plan to enhance IT & Telecom export to $ 15 billion in the next two years after due consultation process with the stakeholders.
At a recent high-level meeting, he assured all possible support to the IT & Telecom Division for achieving this target. It was pointed out that the presentation was received at the eleventh hour, denying the Cabinet members of ample opportunity to study the proposals.
The Cabinet Secretary maintained that instructions had repeatedly been issued to the Ministries/ Divisions to submit their summaries/ presentations well before the cabinet meeting and in accordance with the Rules of Business, 1973, but it was unfortunate that violations were still being made.
The Cabinet Secretary further pointed out that seeking decisions of the cabinet on the basis of a presentation was not permissible under the Rules of Business, 1973, as all decisions are to be made on the basis of a summary.
He advised that the Cabinet may accord approval, in principle, and the IT & Telecom should submit their proposals to the ECC after consultation with relevant stakeholders, wherever a financial decision is being sought, for detailed discussion. The decision of the ECC would subsequently be presented to the Cabinet for ratification.
The IT & Telecom Division, submitted the following proposals to facilitate IT sector: (i) duties and taxes exemption for establishment of Cloud Infrastructure; (ii) 0.5% of annual IT export value to be given to Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) for export promotion;(iii) removal of telecom sector from the SBP’s April 7, 2022 regulation of 100 per cent LC margin; (iv) reduction of sales tax to zero on laptops and IT equipment;(v) rationalization of Advance Income Tax (AIT) on telecom services to 8 per cent; and ( vi) rationalization and harmonization of Federal/ Provincial Services Tax rates on telecom services.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022