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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s IT and IT-enabled Services (ITeS) export remittances missed the target of $3 billion set for the fiscal year 2022-23 by around 14 per cent, attributable to the non-implementation of agreed incentives, lack of consistency in policies, as well as, non-resolving the tax and banks-related issues.

Official data revealed that the sector exports remittances declined by around 0.6 per cent during the fiscal year 2022-23 and stood at $2.605 billion compared to $2.619 billion during the fiscal year 2021-22.

According to the official data, on a year-on-year (YoY) basis, the sector’s exports remittances stood at $236 million in June 2023- the same as in June 2022.

On a month-on-month basis, the sector’s export remittances also remained at $236 million in May 2023.

The IT and the ITeS export remittances, including telecommunication, computer, and information services, reached an all-time high of $2.619 billion, a growth rate of 47.43 per cent in the fiscal year 2022 compared to $2.108 billion in the fiscal year 2021.

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication had envisaged that the IT exports target of $5 billion would be achieved by June 2023.

However, it had also warned the government that on account of the non-implementation of agreed incentives, lack of consistency in policies, as well as, without resolving the tax and banks-related issues, the telecom sector export remittances may suffer besides compromising its digital vision.

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication was informed recently that Pakistan’s IT exports are over $5 billion but exports of just $2.5 billion are documented.

The stagnation in IT exports and a possible contraction on the cards have created profound concerns and apprehensions in the IT industry as the IT and the ITeS industry’s export remittances shrunk, sector experts stated.

They pointed out that the FBR, the SBP, the SECP, the TDAP, and the PSEB should work in tandem to align foreign exchange, taxation, companies’ regulations, and export and investment policies with international best practices.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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