MoIT to boost IT products and services under ‘Digital Pakistan’ policy

Incentives are expected to increase IT exports to $10 billion by 2020

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ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication is making an all-out effort to facilitate IT companies to multiply their exports.

Ministry of IT is diligently working on an incentives package for IT/ITeS Industry to boost Pakistan’s IT Exports, in collaboration with relevant government stakeholders.

The incentives are expected to increase the IT exports of the country to $10 billion by 2020 and accelerate the digitisation of key economic sectors locally.

In this regard, the Minister of State for IT and Telecom Anusha Rehman, along with Secretary IT and other senior officials of the ministry met the Prime Minister twice to discuss the incentives package.

The incentive package includes various measures and is being designed after a thorough analysis of other important IT destinations of the region like Philippines, China, Bangladesh and India.

The package will overcome the challenges faced by the IT/ITeS industry from competing and regional economies.

Incentive package will tackle issues like high taxation on IT/ITeS companies, lack of quality physical infrastructure and limited domestic opportunities.

The package, as part of the Digital Pakistan Policy, will include fiscal proposals such as the extension of zero-rated income tax regime on IT exports to 2030 (currently set to expire in 2019), Removal of 2-8 per cent minimum tax on services and removal of customs duty and sales tax for imports on specific items.

Five per cent cash reward is also being proposed to encourage the inward flow of IT export remittances in proper codes.

Other fiscal measures include Special Economic Zones (SEZs) for IT/ITeS sector to encourage investment in IT ready physical infrastructure in the country, an issue currently hampering the growth in the sector.

In addition to tech SEZs, a land allocation model for public-private partnerships is also being devised and Fiscal incentives will be proposed to FBR for inclusion in the Finance bill 2018-19.