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ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was informed on Monday that the country’s IT and Information Technology-Enabled Service (ITeS) sector recorded $1.333 billion remittances during July to December of FY 2022-23.

In a written reply to the house, Minister for Information Technology Aminul Haq said it was the highest among all services at 37.8 percent of the total export of services and an increase of 2.4 percent in comparison to $ 1.302 billion reported for the same period last year.

During FY 2021-22, ICT export remittances surged to $2.615 billion at a growth rate of 24 per cent in comparison to remittance receipts of US$ 2.107 billion in FY 2020-21.

“Pakistan’s IT and ITeS sector has delivered the largest trade surplus across services and second highest across goods and services after seven textile sector. Trade surplus of $1.17 billion (87.47 per cent of total ICT export remittances) has been realised by the IT and ITeS industry during the period July to December of FY2022-23 to meet the foreign currency crunch faced by the country, an increase of 19.96 per cent as compared to trade surplus of $972 million for the same period in FY2021-22,” he added.

Haq said that over the past five years, phenomenal upward growth of 178 per cent in IT and ITeS exports has been realised at compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30 per cent, the highest growth rate in comparison to all other local industries in services and even higher than the textile sector which stands at 148 per cent.

He said that Pakistan is the second most financially attractive IT and ITeS outsourcing destination in the world according to Kearney’s Global Services Location Index, whereas, International Labour Organization (ILO) has ranked Pakistan as the 3rd largest supplier of digital labour including clerical and data entry services, creative and multimedia services, professional services, sales and marketing support services, software development and technology services, writing and translation services.

In software development and technology services, Pakistan is ranked by ILO as the 2nd biggest supplier of digital labour, he said, adding Pakistan’s IT and ITeS industry is exporting its services to170+ countries and territories.

“The USA is the largest market accounting for57 per cent of the export remittances receipts, followed by the United Kingdom(eight per cent), United Arab Emirates (seven per cent), Singapore (five per cent), and Ireland (four per cent). Top20 IT and ITeS export destinations account for 97 per cent of export remittances and the rest of the countries and territories at present only account for three per cent,” he added.

He said that Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) has developed a comprehensive IT and ITeS Export Enhancement Framework, providing a roadmap of initiatives and programmes to be carried out on both demand side and supply side, enabling the IT sector to reach an annual export remittance receipts of $15 billion in five years.

The annual potential export remittance receipts of Pakistan’s IT sector, he added, are dependent on effective and timely measures to ensure, which are placed as per Annex-A for perusal.

He showed optimism that the annual potential export remittance receipts of Pakistan’s IT sector for the next five years are is to reach $15 billion mark.

Meanwhile, Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman said the government has prepared a National Clean Air Policy to tackle the increasing challenge of air pollution and recurring smog in major cities of the country.

She said that the policy is aimed at formulating a framework for improving air quality, citizens’ health, food security, and reducing annual death due to air pollution, trans-boundary pollution as well as expanding economic activity.

He further said that China has shown a willingness to help Pakistan to deal with smog in line with the best practices being followed in Shanghai and Beijing.

She said the National Electric Vehicle policy has also been formulated for the conversion of fossil fuel vehicles to electric in order to reduce emissions.

Responding to a question, Minister for Education and Professional Training Rana Tanveer Hussain said that all the federal universities have been directed to charge a registration fee once for the whole course.

He said that efforts are being made to end the gap in the announcement of results by intermediate boards so that admission in higher classes can be started at a uniform schedule.

Regarding facilitation of the students of flood-hit areas, he said that fees of over 13,000 students were deferred and 20, 000 students were allowed to pay their fees in instalments. Besides, scholarships were provided to 40,000 students of the flood-affected areas.

The Kalam Bibi International Women Institute Bannu Bill, 2023, was laid before the house and referred to the committee concerned. The bill was laid before the house by the education minister.

The house was prorogued sine die.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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