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ISLAMABAD: The IT and IT-enabled Services (ITeS) export remittances comprising computer services and call centre services increased by 2.89 percent during the first four months of the current fiscal year 2022-23 and remained $ 854 million compared to $ 830 million during the same period of last fiscal year.

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication stated that on a year-on-year (YoY) basis, the sector exports remittances increased by 13.33 percent compared to $ 195 million in October 2021.

The ICT export remittances, including telecommunication, computer, and information services, reached an all-time high of $ 2.618 billion, a growth rate of 47.43 percent in the fiscal year 2021-22 compared to $ 2.108 billion in the fiscal year 2020-21.

The ITeS exports remittances increased by around 7 percent on a month-on-month (MoM) basis in October 2022 and remained $ 221 million compared to $ 206 million in September 2022. Net ICT exports of $ 721 million have been reported by SBP, an increase of 14.44 percent as compared to net exports of $ 630 million for the same period in the fiscal year 2021-22.

Federal Minister of Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Aminul Haque has stated that the IT exports target of $ 5 billion would be achieved by June 2023. He further said that the government is taking all possible steps to ensure a long-term IT industry growth trajectory and enhance IT industry exports to $ 5 billion by 2023.

However, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has warned the government that on account of the non-implementation of agreed incentives, lack of consistency in policies as well as the without resolving the tax and banks-related issues, the telecom sector exports remittances may suffer besides compromising its digital vision.

The ITeS exports declined by 0.3 per cent during the first quarter of the current fiscal year 2022-23 and remained $ 633 million compared to $ 635 million during the same period of the last fiscal year. The decline in the ITeS exports remittances rung the alarm bill and serious reservations were expressed among the concerned quarters.

Haque has raised the issues being faced by the sector in different meetings including the one held with the prime minister in the chair. Haque has said that the sector may face further decline if immediate attention were not paid. The minister has also stressed resolving the outstanding issues of taxation as well as related banks.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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