ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Dr Umar Saif, said that the government is planning to put in place a mechanism for retaining dollars in the country, as many IT companies are parking dollars outside the country.
Talking to media persons, the minister said that Pakistan’s IT exports are 2.6 billion dollars. The total size of Pakistan’s IT industry is more than four billion dollars; however, IT companies have a lot of money parked outside, while people are still keeping their dollars outside.
The government is planning how to stop the flow of dollars abroad, said the IT minister, adding that in the next few days, the government will reach a mechanism to retain dollars for the IT industry.
IT Minister Saif said talks are under way with PayPal to facilitate the inflow of dollars in Pakistan. He said that a regulatory framework in the country is a major obstacle regarding the entry of PayPal. The rules of FATF and international organisations are also an obstacle in this regard, said the minister, adding that a business case for PayPal was never made.
The minister also raised questions over spectrum auction in the country, while saying that no proper auction of spectrum was held in 10 years. He further added that the telecom tribunal in the telecom sector would be set up.
The caretaker minister said that the corporate debit card system is going to be introduced, while apprenticeships in universities would be made compulsory. Further, a standardised test for IT graduates would be started.
IT Minister Saif said the government is going to provide training to 16,000 people through NewTech, besides international certification to 0.1 million people would be given.
Bringing dollars to the IT industry and the shortage of technical people are two major problems, said the IT minister, adding that a plan to set up freelancing centres across the country is proposed.
The IT minister said that the government is going to launch an Interest-Free Loan Scheme to facilitate IT freelancers. The establishment of 5,000 e-employment centres in the IT sector is also proposed.
He further said the government is going to form funds for start-ups with the support of international companies. The government will allocate three billion rupees for this fund.
The infrastructure sharing policy will be presented in the next cabinet meeting, said the IT minister, adding that National Roaming Infrastructure has been set up and National Roaming will start on National Highways within two months.
On national highways, users will have the freedom to use different mobile networks, said the IT minister.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023