Information Technology (IT) industry has been making huge strides across the globe, changing the way we work and interact with each other, but somehow Pakistan doesn’t seem to be making the same progress in the IT sector. To pursue the matter, a delegation of Pakistan Computer Association (PCA) led by its chairman Munawar Iqbal, visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) in a bid to ask the government to focus on the development of the IT industry.
Speaking at the occasion, Iqbal said that the current tax regime was not supportive of the IT sector businesses and stressed on the fact that the regulatory bodies should consider making changes in tax policies to facilitate the sector. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) should reduce high tax rates that are imposed on IT sector in order to pave the way for its fast growth, he added. The government imposed on 8% tax on the revenues generated by the IT firms.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the IT industry of Pakistan has tremendous potential, but there’s a dire need for development and promotion in order to compete with other developing countries such as India, Singapore and Philippines, where the IT sector has played a vital role in bolstering the economy.
The ICCI President Khalid Iqbal Malik said that IT industry has the potential to project the country at a global level by promoting IT exports and the government should prioritize to solve its key problems such as insufficient government support and high taxes. “With better focus on the IT industry, India is earning billions of dollars through IT exports while Pakistan’s IT exports are still far less than its actual potential,” said the ICCI president
Growth in IT infrastructure and industry also plays a major role in poverty alleviation as has been demonstrated by other nations such as the Philippines and India. We believe that growth in the IT sector can make a viable alternate for investors looking to diversify their portfolio beyond oil and gas, telecom, and heavy industry. In any case, only time will tell what initiatives the government adopts to help the IT sector.